Google co-founder Larry Page has been secretly funding two startup companies developing flying cars.
But he didn’t want to be publicly associated with the companies.
Flying cars have been a strong obsession of technology-oriented people for at least a century.
With the proliferation of cars and planes, dreamers have been predicting a combination of both—an affordable small plane, easy to take off, and easy to fly—and many have attempted to construct one.
But, so far, all have ultimately failed.
Page’s ventures—named Zee.Aero and Kitty Hawk—bet on electric motors that have seen new developments thanks to the electric car industry. Especially now that motors can be made lighter, Bloomberg noted.
It seems Page takes the effort seriously and pushes the companies to compete with each other to speed up the development.
He also splurges on talent, Bloomberg indicated:
“In the six years since its founding, Zee.Aero has hired some of the brightest young aerospace designers, software engineers, and experts in motor and battery hardware. They’ve come from places such as SpaceX, NASA, and Boeing, and they’re all chasing after the goal presented succinctly on Zee.Aero’s spare website: ‘”We’re changing personal aviation.'”
The Zee.Aero prototypes are already flying and were described as having a narrow body, bulbous cockpit, and wings and two propellers at the back.
The Kitty Hawk design was described as resembling a oversized quad-copter drone.
Other companies that have flying cars in development include Urban Aeronautics, Terrafugia, Moller, and French Xplorair PX200 project.
Slovakian AeroMobil plans to start selling its two-seaters next year, but aims at “wealthy supercar buyers and flight enthusiasts,” according to CBCnews.
Page seems to be pursuing a more affordable design, Bloomberg notes.
It is not clear what the flying distance is, the speed, cost, or other technical specifications of the Zee.Aero and Kitty Hawk prototypes.