The American Startup Kitty Hawk has unveiled its new vertical takeoff aircraft, Heaviside. After the Flyer and Cora, the start-up funded by the co-founder of Google, Larry Page, continues its experiments to propose a flying machine less noisy and more flexible than a helicopter. .
Heaviside is a vertical takeoff and landing electric aircraft, an approach that allows it to dispense with a runway to fly or land. Designed for urban use and “general public”, the machine should be able to make trips without the intervention of a pilot. A good thing for the device that has only one place. The small plane is essentially based on its flight calculators to move.
Quiet a Thought for the City
With a wingspan of only 6 meters, the new Kitty Hawk project has the potential to compete with helicopters, despite its limited space.
The craft emits only 38 dBA at 1500 feet against 60 dBA for a helicopter. At takeoff, both aircraft reach 80 dBA – 88 dBA for the helicopter – but the noise emitted by the aircraft lasts only ten seconds unlike the helicopter. In his case, the noise lasts several minutes.
With its small size and limited noise, Heaviside wants to position itself as a means of urban transport. With its vertical take-off and landing, the craft does not need a runway to fly. It could therefore perfectly find its place in the city.
According to Kitty Hawk, the craft can easily connect San Jose to San Francisco in just 15 minutes, an approximate distance of 80 km, consuming half the energy of a car.
A Project for the Common Man
“Our idea is that we want these devices to be socially acceptable to the greatest number. Helicopters are not: they are reserved for the rich and they make noise, “said Sebastian Thrun, CEO of the start-up TechCrunch. In addition, the fact that the device is autonomous makes it possible to address more people who do not necessarily have a pilot license.
For now, the project is still in the development phase and remains very mysterious, but Kitty Hawk should reveal more in the months to come. If the number of projects of the company has exploded in recent years, the start-up relativizes, evoking a “niche market” for its beginnings.