- Kitty Hawk, the air taxi company founded by Larry Page, closes. An acknowledgment of failure that has no impact on Wisk Aero’s operations.
After more than a decade of trying to make flying cars a reality, Kitty Hawk closes its doors. “We are still working out the details of what will happen next,” the Larry Page-funded startup posted on LinkedIn. Prior to this announcement, Kitty Hawk’s last public communication was in the spring of 2021.
We have made the decision to wind down Kittyhawk. We're still working on the details of what's next.
— Kittyhawk (@kittyhawkcorp) September 21, 2022
Kitty Hawk, the air taxi company founded by Larry Page, closes
At the time, we learned that the company had parted ways with engineer Damon Vander Lind after “months” of falling out with Larry Page and CEO Sebastian Thrun. About a year prior, the company had canceled its original Flyer project and laid off the majority of its 70-person team that had worked on the device.
It’s hard to know what really made Kitty Hawk decide to go out of business, but comments from Sebastian Thrun after development on the Flyer project halted may give an important clue: “No matter how much energy we we weren’t able to find a viable business,” said the manager. After Damon Vander Lind’s departure the following year, it appeared that Kitty Hawk was ready to double down on its Heavyside vertical take-off and landing aircraft. The company had acquired 3D Robotics and brought in company co-founder Chris Anderson as chief operating officer.
An acknowledgment of failure that has no impact on Wisk Aero’s operations
Despite the end of Kitty Hawk’s adventure, this probably won’t be the last we hear of Larry Page’s flying car ambitions. Indeed, according to CNBC this cessation of activity will not affect Wisk Aero, the company which was born in 2019 from a partnership between Kitty Hawk and Boeing.
“Kitty Hawk’s decision to cease operations does not change Boeing’s commitment to Wisk. We are proud to be a founding member of Wisk Aero and look forward to seeing the work they have done to drive innovation and sustainability through the future of electric air travel,” Boeing told the newspaper. “We do not expect Kitty Hawk’s announcement to affect Wisk’s operations or other businesses in any way.”