Larry Page’s Kitty Hawk Air Taxi Company Closes
After more than a decade of trying to turn flying cars into a reality, Kitty Hawk is shutting down. “We’re still working on the details of the next step,” the Larry Page-backed startup posted on LinkedIn. Before today’s announcement, we last heard from Kitty Hawk in the spring of 2021 when the company walked out with engineer Damon Vander Lind after “months” of infighting with Page and CEO Sebastian Thrun. About a year ago, the company laid off most of the 70-person team who worked on the plane.
It’s unclear why Kitty Hawk decided to quit, but comments made by Thrun after the company ended development on the Flyer may provide clues. “No matter how hard we searched, we couldn’t find a path to a viable business,” the CEO said at the time. After Vander Lind’s departure the following year, it seemed Kitty Hawk was ready to double down on her business. It acquired 3D Robotics and brought in the company’s former co-founder wired Editor Chris Anderson, as Chief Operating Officer.
Despite Kitty Hawk’s demise, this probably won’t be the last we hear about Larry Page’s flying car ambitions. according to Wednesday’s shutdown will not affect Wisk Aero, the company that grew out of the 2019 partnership between Kitty Hawk and Boeing.
Kitty Hawk’s decision to halt operations does not change Boeing’s commitment to Whiskey. We are proud to be one of the founding members of Wisk Aero and pleased to see the work they are doing to drive innovation and sustainability through the future of electric air travel. “We do not expect the Kitty Hawk announcement to affect Wisk’s operations or other activities in any way.”
All products recommended by Engadget are handpicked by our editorial team, independently of the parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission. All prices are correct at the time of publication.