After greater than a decade of attempting to make flying vehicles a actuality, Kitty Hawk is shutting down. “We’re nonetheless engaged on the main points of what’s subsequent,” the Larry Web page-backed startup posted to LinkedIn . Earlier than as we speak’s announcement, the final time we heard from Kitty Hawk was within the spring of 2021 when it got here out the corporate had with engineer Damon Vander Lind following “months” of infighting with Web page and CEO Sebastian Thrun. Nearly precisely a yr earlier, the corporate and laid off a lot of the 70-person staff that had labored on the plane.
It’s unclear why Kitty Hawk determined to name it quits, however feedback Thrun made after the corporate ended growth on Flyer might present a clue. “Regardless of how laborious we appeared, we couldn’t discover a path to a viable enterprise,” the chief government stated on the time. After Vander Lind’s departure the next yr, it appeared Kitty Hawk was able to double down on its . It acquired 3D Robotics and introduced on the corporate’s co-founder, former Wired editor Chris Anderson, as chief working officer.
Regardless of the demise of Kitty Hawk, this most likely isn’t the final we’ll hear of Larry Web page’s flying automobile ambitions. In line with , Wednesday’s shutdown gained’t have an effect on Wisk Aero, the corporate that was borne out of a 2019 partnership between Kitty Hawk and Boeing.
“Kitty Hawk’s choice to stop operations doesn’t change Boeing’s dedication to Wisk. We’re proud to be a founding member of Wisk Aero and are excited to see the work they’re doing to drive innovation and sustainability by means of the way forward for electrical air journey,” Boeing advised the outlet. “We don’t anticipate Kitty Hawk’s announcement to have an effect on Wisk’s operations or different actions in any means.”
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