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Jun 3, 2020

Kitty Hawk ends Flyer program, shifts focus to once-secret autonomous aircraft

Posted by in categories: employment, health, robotics/AI, transportation

Kitty Hawk is shutting down its Flyer program, the aviation startup’s inaugural moonshot to develop an ultralight electric flying car designed for anyone to use.

The company, backed by Google co-founder Larry Page and led by Sebastian Thrun, said it’s now focused on scaling up Heaviside, a sleeker, more capable (once secret) electric aircraft that is quiet, fast and can fly and land anywhere autonomously.

Kitty Hawk is laying off most of Flyer’s 70-person team, TechCrunch learned. A few employees will be brought over to work on Heaviside, according to the company. Those who are laid off will receive at least 20 weeks of pay, plus tenure, depending on how long they were with the company. Former workers will also receive their annual bonus and have their health insurance covered through the end of the year. The company said it will set up placement services to help people find employment.

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