No, the flying cars of our immediate future aren’t likely to look like the ones science fiction envisioned many decades ago. Instead, they’re more likely to look like your good, old consumer drone. Or, if the Kitty Hawk Flyer has its way, a vehicle that looks like something someone from the Star Wars universe cobbled together from an intergalactic junkyard.
Unlike the flying cars we fantasized about, this one can’t actually ride on roads and then launch to the skies at the push of a button. Instead, it’s a first-generation flying car that’s intended more as a recreational vehicle than an actual commuting machine.
That’s because the Kitty Hawk Flyer isn’t designed to fly in populated areas. Instead, it’s only meant to be operated on top of a body of fresh water where there’s little risk of accidentally landing on someone’s head or falling straight onto hard concrete after a malfunction. It flies through the air using an array of eight battery-powered propellers, while the driver, who doesn’t require a license, sits on top in an open cabin, operating it using joystick controls. Yep, it’s just like flying your DJI Phantom Pro. During flight, it hovers around 15 feet above the water surface.
No pricing has been announced, but interested parties can put down $100 to reserve an early slot when sales for the Kitty Hawk Flyer starts at the end of the year.