Wisk Aero Generation 6
Wisk Aero LLC.
Mountain View, California, USA
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 its technology and intellectual property rights in March 2018. (All photos, graphics and drawings are copyrighted by Wisk Aero LLC.)
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 Generation 6 autonomous (with human oversight) four passenger eVTOL production model has been made specifically for advanced air mobility (AAM) air taxi service. The aircraft has 12 propellers, 12 electric motors and uses battery packs to power the entire aircraft. (The Cora name is not being used for this aircraft and was only used on the 4th and 5th generation aircraft.) eVTOL aircraft typically provide the vehicle with no emissions, very high safety, low manufacturing costs, low passenger costs, low maintenance costs and an extremely quiet vehicle, both inside and out.
The aircraft has a cruise speed of 138 mph (222 km/h), a range of 90 mi (144 km) and is expected to have a range cruise altitudes 2,500-4,000 ft (762-1,219 m). There is one main high wing on the aircraft which will provide a longer range for its passengers than a multicopter eVTOL aircraft. Beneath the high wing are six short booms and each boom has propellers attached to both ends of each boom. All the propellers are located on the top side of the booms. The front six propellers are tilt-propellers and the rear six propellers are fixed VTOL-only propellers.
The aircraft has panoramic wrap around windows allowing forward, left, right visibility, for spectacular views with a solid roof above the passenger compartment. The aircraft has fixed skid landing gear which decreases the complexity of the aircraft and thus makes the aircraft even more reliable. In the rear of the aircraft is a convention tail with a vertical stabilizer and horizontal stabilizers. There are no rear pusher propellers as the previous proof of concept and technology demonstrators had.
The company reported in 2021 that it had made over 1,500 test flights with their aircraft. Wisk Aero plans for their aircraft to be sold and used as on-demand autonomous air taxi service, personal use, business use, possibly military use and for air cargo transportation.
On Monday, Oct. 3, 2022, Wisk Aero unveiled its Generation 6 eVTOL mock-up aircraft. This design will be used for the planned production model and the company will be applying for its type certificate with the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) as an autonomous air taxi. The company has stated the Generation 6 aircraft is the first autonomous eVTOL passenger aircraft that has been applied for type certification to the FAA. Additionally, through its strategic partnership with Boeing, Wisk has a competitive advantage leveraging 100+ years of Boeing expertise in aircraft development, scale manufacturing and certification.
As safety is a top priority with Wisk Aero, the aircraft has a less than a billion chance that the aircraft's systems will fail. The company has achieved this through a multifaceted approach including autonomous flight with human oversight, a simplified design with fewer moving parts, fully redundant systems, improved detect and avoid capabilities (and other sensors), and no single point of failure The company has stated there are no controls in the cockpit.
The company has also surveyed more than 630 people concerning accessibility, customer comfort and more. Generation 6 incorporates a number of accessibility features, from an entry and exit designed for individuals across the mobility spectrum, to user interfaces that seamlessly accommodate people living with hearing, vision, and other impairments. Wisk is one of the few industry players that have prioritized catering to such a wide demographic of passengers. In addition, the interior is spacious, has comfortable seats, will have Wifi and charging onboard, has plenty of room for luggage, excellent visibility and is easy to enter and exit the aircraft.
The company has stated they've made a Generation 6 subscale prototype and have already conducted ground tests, components tests, system tests and it has been flight tested. Wisk Aero's Generation 6 aircraft is designed to service everyone, with a price target of $3.00 USD per passenger, per mile.
- Aircraft type: eVTOL passenger production aircraft
- Piloting: Autonomous with human oversight
- Capacity: 4 passengers
- Cruise speed: 138 mph (222 km/h)
- Range: 90 mi (144 km)
- Flight Time: Unknown
- Cruise altitude: 2,500-4,000 ft (762-1,219 m)
- Propellers: 12 propellers (6 tilt-propellers, 6 fixed VTOL-only propellers)
- Electric Motors: 12 electric motors
- Power source: Batteries
- Fuselage material: Unknown
- Windows: Panoramic wrap around windows allowing forward, left, right visibility, for spectacular views with a solid roof above the passenger compartment
- Wing: 1 main high wing
- Tail: 1 convention tail with a vertical stabilizer and horizontal stabilizers
- Landing gear: Fixed skid landing gear
- Safety features: Safety features: Distributed Electric Propulsion (DEP), provides safety through redundancy for its passengers and/or cargo. DEP means having multiple propellers (or ducted fans) and motors on the aircraft so if one or more propellers (ducted fans) or motors fail, the other working propellers (or ducted fans) and motors can safely land the aircraft. There are also redundancies in the sub-systems of the aircraft. There is a whole aircraft ballistic parachute.
- Note: These specifications will most likely change once the serial production aircraft has been finalized for manufacturing.
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- FAA Certification: N301XZ
- Article: Larry Page’s Flying Taxis, Now Exiting Stealth Mode, NY Times, Mar. 12, 2018
- Video: Meet Cora, Kitty Hawk, Mar. 12, 2018
- Article: Kitty Hawk unveils Cora aircraft for eVTOL air taxi market, Flight Global, Mar. 13, 2018
- Article: Air taxi trials possible in six years as tech company trials flying vehicle in Canterbury, Stuff, Mar. 13, 2018
- Tweet: Evolution of @kittyhawkcorp eVTOL, Twitter, Mar. 13, 2018
- Article: Ready for liftoff? Two flying taxi startups got Pentagon funding, The Guardian, July 10, 2018
- Article: Kitty Hawk Announcements, Electric VTOL News, Aug. 4, 2019
- Article: Kitty Hawk Reveals Heaviside, Electric VTOL News, Nov. 4, 2019
- Article: Teaming for Transformative Vertical Flight, Vertiflite, November/December 2019
- Article: Boeing and Kitty Hawk Launch eVTOL Joint Venture Wisk, Aviation International News Online, Dec. 3, 2019
- Article: Boeing and Kitty Hawk to develop Cora eVTOL under Wisk joint venture, eVTOL Magazine, Dec. 3, 2019
- Video: Wisk – We’ve Arrived, Wisk, Dec. 12, 2019
- Video: Wisk - Meet Cora, Wisk, Dec. 12, 2019
- Article: Cora + Boeing = Wisk, Electric VTOL News, Jan. 1, 2020
- Article: Cora + Boeing = Wisk, Electric VTOL News, Jan. 3, 2020
- Article: Wisk’s electric air taxis will fly themselves, says CEO, eVTOL Magazine, Jan. 20, 2020
- Article: Cora Down Under and Autonomous, Electric VTOL News, Mar. 3, 2020
- Article: Financing the Electric VTOL Revolution, Electric VTOL News, Jun. 17, 2020
- Article: Wisk Announces First-Of-Its-Kind Partnership With NASA To Create New Framework For Autonomous Passenger Flight, eVTOL Insights, Nov. 16, 2020
- Article: Wisk’s self-flying air taxis are Boeing’s ‘singular play’ for urban air mobility, eVTOL Magazine, Mar. 19, 2021
- Article: Electric self-flying taxi on display, as Christchurch shows off future of air travel, Stuff (New Zealand), Apr. 17, 2021
- Article: eVTOL Insights Podcast: Anna Kominik of Wisk talks more about its work in New Zealand, eVTOL Insights, June 3, 2021
- Video First Piloted eVTOL Transition (August 2017, Generation 3), Wisk Aero, Aug. 30, 2021
- Article: Wisk’s First Piloted eVTOL Transition, eVTOL Magazine, Aug. 30, 2021
- Article: Absent 797, Boeing bets on Wisk's autonomous moonshot, The Air Current, Jan. 24, 2022
- Article: Wisk Aero secures $450M from Boeing to advance autonomous eVTOL aircraft, eVTOL Magazine, Jan. 24, 2022
- Article: GALLERY: Wisk unveils the four-seater, Gen 6 aircraft it intends to certify for the AAM market, eVTOL Insights, Oct. 3, 2022
- Article: Wisk unveils its 6th-generation autonomous eVTOL mock-up, Vertical Magazine, Oct. 3, 2022
- Article: Wisk unveils new air taxi design that will be certification suitable, Flight Global, Oct 3, 2022
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