Wisk Partners with New Zealand and Blade
Wisk — the joint venture between Kitty Hawk and The Boeing Company — announced on March 29 that it would begin the second half of its “transport trial” later this year — with its two-seat Cora eVTOL demonstrator — to advance autonomous passenger transport under the New Zealand government’s broader Airspace Integration Trial Programme (AITP). Since signing a memorandum of understanding in February 2020, Wisk and the NZ government have been undertaking detailed planning of a highly structured and integrated program. Wisk is also bringing Insitu Pacific Pty, Ltd., a Boeing subsidiary for unmanned aerial systems (UAS), into the program to support the trial. According to FutureFlight.aero, the unmanned demonstration flights will be conducted in South Canterbury.
Meanwhile, the company announced an agreement with Blade Urban Air Mobility on May 5 to provide up to 30 Cora aircraft to be deployed on Blade’s US network. Blade and Wisk have formed a working group to engage with regulators and municipalities and pursue charging infrastructure and next-generation air traffic control systems. The working group will leverage Blade’s six years of experience with UAM services (with helicopter and fixed-wing aircraft) in the most congested markets to inform future Wisk design principles. The arrangement continues Blade’s “asset light model,” where Wisk will own, operate and maintain their aircraft as part of Blade’s network, “allowing Blade to focus on delivering a great experience to our fliers.”