The Future of Advanced Air Mobility

Kittyhawk Signals Its Imminent Exit from eVTOL Aircraft Innovation

Kittyhawk, the eVTOL technology innovator launched by Google co-founder Larry Page and senior Google executive Sebastian Thrun, is closing its doors. The California-based company, which since 2015 has been working on a variety of new electric and autonomous aircraft, announced via Twitter late on September 21 that it has “made the decision to wind down” and that it is “still working on what’s next.”

The venture’s most current project has been the Heaviside autonomous eVTOL vehicle that last year received military airworthiness approval from the U.S. Air Force. Under the service’s Agility Prime program, the aircraft was being evaluated for potential military applications, with a range of up to around 100 miles. In February 2021, emergency medical support group Falck started exploring how it might be able to adapt the Heaviside for first-response use to treat critically injured patients.

Kittyhawk is also the joint owner with Boeing of eVTOL aircraft developer Wisk Aero, which was established in 2019. The company did not respond to questions from FutureFlight as to whether it will stay involved in Wisk’s plans to bring a four-seat autonomous eVTOL vehicle to market, and perhaps redeploy its own personnel to this program.

"The news about Kittyhawk does not impact Wisk," a Wisk spokesman told FutureFlight. "We remain in a strong financial position, with both Boeing and Kittyhawk as investors."