The Next Step
Every revolution has a story. The right people, the right time and the right place coming together for something special. In 1903, it was the Wright Brothers in Kitty Hawk, North Carolina. The very same year, Richard Pearse took to the sky in New Zealand.
Our story starts with a group of dreamers from California with a big idea. To build the aircraft the world has been fantasizing about since Wilber and Orville––Marty’s Delorean, the Jetson’s Hovercar––an aircraft so personal it could weave the freedom of flight into our daily lives.
After almost 8 years of engineering, re-engineering and re-re-engineering, we had done it. We had designed an air taxi, affectionately named Cora, that could take off like a helicopter and transition to flying like a plane. The possibilities were limitless.
Cora had the potential to take off from a rooftop and hop across a city. To transform a parking lot into an airpad in your neighborhood. You wouldn’t have to know anything about flying a plane. Cora could fly for you. And it would be all-electric, helping to build a sustainable world.
It was time to take Cora out of R&D and start the process of bringing her to the world. Needless to say, we were excited. But there was a problem. A path to certifying an air taxi for everyday use just didn’t exist yet. We had our aircraft. We had our moment.
But Dr Peter Crabtree of New Zealand’s Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) saw the opportunity immediately. “In New Zealand, we know we can’t keep using the same old approaches to meet our future challenges. We saw Cora’s potential as a sustainable, efficient and transformative technology that can enrich people’s lives, not only in New Zealand, but ultimately the whole world.”
What emerged was a deeper partnership than we had ever imagined. Together with MBIE, New Zealand’s Ministry of Transport and the Civil Aviation Authority were willing to work with us. And we discovered amazing communities like the City of Christchurch that were willing to engage with us about a future where the freedom of flight belongs to everyone.
We had found a community who shared our vision of a better world. Of a life where the sky connects us to the people and places that matter most. Even though we were at the very beginning of a long journey, things were looking up.