HEAVISIDE: Revolutionizing Urban Air Transportation with Kitty Hawk's eVTOL

HEAVISIDE: Revolutionizing Urban Air Transportation with Kitty Hawk's eVTOL
Courtesy by eVTOL News

Heaviside has been the main focus of Kittyhawk's efforts to develop an eVTOL personal air vehicle since it stopped work on another single-seat model called the Flyer. The California-based company has consistently refused to provide any information about the development timeline for the all-electric aircraft. In June 2020, it laid off 70 staff as part of the reorganization to focus entirely on the Heaviside project.

Kitty Hawk claims that Heaviside will be "100 times quieter" than existing helicopters. It said that in test flights it has demonstrated sound levels of 35 dBA at 1,500 feet and claimed that this will mean almost no noise will be heard from the aircraft within 30 seconds of takeoff. The company says that flight testing of what appears to be a technology demonstrator has achieved a range of 100 miles and speeds of up to 180 mph (while maintaining one-quarter of the charge in its batteries for safety reserves). One of its development aircraft crashed on October 17, 2019, in an accident that investigators from the U.S. The Safety Board found that it was caused by software timing issues that jeopardized flying controls.

Kittyhawk is also a joint venture partner with Boeing in Wisk, where the Cora eVTOL aircraft is being developed for projected air taxi service.

On March 2, 2021, the business announced that it will begin building a medical assistance version of the Heaviside eVTOL aircraft with Denmark-based healthcare organization Falck. Falck intends to reduce the cost of medical flights while improving emergency response time. Kittyhawk has developed 13 prototype aircraft to far, with over 700 test flights under its belt. Yet, the business has remained tight-lipped regarding the long-running Heaviside program's development timeframe.

Heaviside became the second eVTOL design to be granted military airworthiness by the United States Air Force on July 9, 2021, enabling Kittyhawk to receive cash via the United States Air Force's Agility Prime research and development program.

After taking the controls of a Heaviside prototype in December 2021, U.S. Air Force Captain Terrence McKenna was announced as the first USAF officer to handle a remotely piloted eVTOL aircraft under direct government authority on January 24, 2022.

Kittyhawk announced its decision to "wind down" the firm on Twitter on September 21, adding it was "still working on what's next." As of September 28, the firm has made no additional pronouncements concerning its or the Heaviside program's future.

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