California-based electric transportation solutions company Kitty Hawk Corporation announced on Wednesday that it is retiring its Flyer ultralight electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) vehicle. According to Kitty Hawk, a total of 111 Flyers were built and more than 25,000 Flyer flights were conducted. The company says it plans to focus its attention on its larger Heaviside eVTOL, which has a range of 100 miles and is capable of speeds of up to 180 MPH.
“Today, we are winding down the Flyer project,” Kitty Hawk CEO Sebastian Thrun and Flyer President Alex Roetter wrote in a blog announcement. “We have learned what we needed from it—things like vehicle design and testing, manufacturing aircraft, and most of all, how humans would experience eVTOL. We are proud to have built the first electrically-powered VTOL aircraft in the world flown by non-pilots.”
The Flyer, which was designed to be operated over water, has an empty weight of 250 pounds, top speed of 20 MPH and endurance of around 20 minutes. As previously reported by AVweb, Kitty Hawk unveiled the ultralight eVTOL in April 2017. The aircraft officially entered the market in June 2018.