Advanced Air Mobility News

Wisk: Industry Consensus Crucial for eVTOL Certification

Wisk: Industry Consensus Crucial for eVTOL Certification

Tom Gunnarson, Wisk Aero’s Lead of Regulatory Affairs, has stressed the need to establish an industry consensus for eVTOL certification in a company blog published recently.

Gunnarson said Wisk acknowledged how crucial it is to have consensus standards set in stone. He commended the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), along with the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), for implementing regulations that enable industry participation in creating compliance guidelines all eVTOL companies seeking certification can abide by. 

He further said Wisk is ready to take a leading role in assisting regulators and shining more light on areas where there is a lack of guidance. 

“We appreciate the opportunity to roll up our sleeves alongside regulators to tackle areas where there has been little or no guidance for applicants such as for distributed electric propulsion, highly autonomous onboard systems for flight path control, sensing and health monitoring, and ground infrastructure such as charging and vertiports,” Gunnarson said. 

Instead of assessing individual certification proposals, he emphasized the role of standardized certification.

The FAA has also placed great importance on forming industry consensus and plans to leverage the technical expertise of specialists from sectors including those outside the aerospace industry.

“While we are in the early stages of developing a new aviation sector with many new and novel ideas, there are opportunities to use the standardization process, saving authorities cost and time in the approval process,” Gunnarson said.

Gunnarson, as the secretary of the European Organization for Civil Aviation Equipment Working Group 112 on Vertical Takeoff and Landing (VTOL), a group developing standards for eVTOL aircraft, had the opportunity to work closely with EASA in December 2022.

“Being able to spend a few days face-to-face discussing standards with the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) specialists was invaluable,” said Gunnarson. “Wisk now better understands EASA’s expectations and can work with them and FAA to find validation solutions in areas unique to Wisk’s platform and future operation.”

Wisk is developing Generation 6, its four-passenger air taxi that is set to become the world’s first self-flying, all-electric eVTOL. Utilizing a lift + lift/cruise configuration, it has a range of 144 km and a cruising speed of 203 to 222 kph. 

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