Larry Page’s electric air taxi launch is coming to an end

“We have made the decision to close Kittyhawk. We are still working on the details going forward,” the company wrote in a brief statement. A statement shared on LinkedIn Twitter pages. Kittyhawk did not immediately respond to a request for additional comment.

According to its website, Kittyhawk had a lofty mission to “build autonomous, affordable, ubiquitous and environmentally conscious air taxis.” It was founded by Sebastian Thrun, a former Google executive who led the company’s self-driving car efforts.

The startup operated in secret until 2017, when it publicly unveiled its first aircraft, an ultralight electric plane called the Flyer designed to fly over water. Page, one of the world’s richest men, is said to have invested $100 million in flying car startups, including Kittyhawk.
The Flyer was eventually shut down in 2020 after more than 25,000 successful test flights, the company said, and it reportedly laid off many people who worked at the Flyer at the time. The company launched other prototype electric planes and announced a partnership with Boeing in 2019.
Kittyhawk’s closure will not affect its joint venture with Boeing, called Wisk. Inside to tweetWisk said it remains in a “strong financial position” with both Boeing and Kittyhawk as investors.

Like the Kittyhawk, Wisk is developing an “all-electric, self-flying air taxi” that it says “takes off like a helicopter and flies like an airplane,” according to its website. This “aircraft removes the need for a runway and allows you to land where you need to be,” the company said.