Wisk Aero was founded in 2019 as a joint venture between Boeing and Kitty Hawk Corporation and is headquartered in Mountain View, California, USA. The goal of the company is to manufacture autonomous electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aircraft with zero emissions, for advanced air mobility (AAM) and air cargo. The company recognizes that self-flying cars will not be the first to market but expects to be the first autonomous eVTOL passenger aircraft to market. Kitty Hawk Corporation purchased Zee Aero aircraft and its technology and intellectual property rights in March 2018.
The joint venture was to manufacture Kitty Hawk's Cora eVTOL passenger aircraft and with a goal to operate one of the world's largest urban air taxi fleets in the world, for use in United States, Europe and Asia. In February 2022, Boeing invested another $450 million in Wisk Aero. It was reported in late 2019, that some of Boeing's executives are already on Wisk Aero's board.
The first generation proof of concept (POC) remote controlled subscale eVTOL aircraft was Zee Aero's first battery powered flying vehicle. The aircraft was about the size of a mid-sized car and would probably fit nicely into two parking spaces.
The aircraft has eight VTOL propellers mounted on two booms near the top and parallel to the fuselage. The aircraft has two rear pusher propellers for forward and rearward flight. There is a foreplane wing and has a rear rear horizontal stabilizer with two downward vertical stabilizers on each end of the horizontal stabilizer. The aircraft has no windows. For easy ground movement, the aircraft has fixed tricycle wheeled landing gear.
Proof of concept aircraft are typically made for new unique aircraft to help inventors to flight test the aircraft, collect flight test data, find the right components and material to make the aircraft, and to determine if the aircraft will function in the real world. Many times a proof of concept aircraft will not be a complete aircraft and will not look like the serial production model and in fact, the proof of concept aircraft are not intended to be an early version of the production model.
While very little of this aircraft is known about, the construction of, the test flights and test data has been instrumental in helping make Wisk's Cora eVTOL passenger aircraft. The company does have pictures of this first generation proof of concept aircraft which validates their hypothesis that their eVTOL design is valid and flight worthy in the real world. Before this aircraft was built, a hand-held subscale model was made which was the company's first attempt at flying a newly designed aircraft.
The company expects its autonomous eVTOL aircraft for air taxi service, for other types of passenger air mobility missions and for autonomous air cargo transportation.
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