Larry Page’s Kitty Hawk air taxi startup is shutting down

After more than a decade of trying to make flying cars a reality, Kitty Hawk is closing. “We’re still working out the details of what’s next,” the Larry Page-backed startup posted on LinkedIn. Prior to today’s announcement, the last we heard from Kitty Hawk was in spring 2021, when it was revealed the company was dating engineer Damon Vander Lind after “monthly” battles with Page and CEO Sebastian Thrun. Almost exactly a year earlier, the company laid off most of the 70-strong team that worked on the plane.

It’s unclear why Kitty Hawk decided to end it, but comments Thrun made after the company ended development on Flyer could provide a clue. “As much as we searched, we couldn’t find a way to a profitable business,” said the CEO at the time. Following Vander Lind’s departure the following year, Kitty Hawk appeared ready to sell his . It acquired 3D Robotics and brought the company’s former co-founder on board Wired Editor Chris Anderson as Chief Operating Officer.

Despite the sinking of Kitty Hawk, this probably won’t be the last we’ll hear of Larry Page’s flying car ambitions. Corresponding Wisk Aero, the company born of a 2019 partnership between Kitty Hawk and Boeing, will not be affected by Wednesday’s closure.

“Kitty Hawk’s decision to cease operations does not change Boeing’s commitment to Wisk. We are proud to be a founding member of Wisk Aero and excited about the work they are doing to advance innovation and sustainability through the future of electric air travel,” Boeing told the outlet. “We do not anticipate that Kitty Hawk’s announcement will affect Wisk’s operations or other activities in any way.”

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