Advanced Air Mobility News

Wisk Reveals Four-seat, Sixth-generation, Certification Version eVTOL

Wisk Reveals Four-seat, Sixth-generation, Certification Version eVTOL

Advanced air mobility company Wisk Aero has revealed its sixth-generation air taxi – the world’s first self-flying, all-electric, four-passenger eVTOL. The Boeing-backed company will put through type certification with the US Federal Aviation Administration, although it has yet to outline the anticipated timeline for the test flight program, certification and entry into service.

Wisk says Generation 6 combines industry-leading autonomous technology and software, human oversight of every flight, and a simplified design with fewer moving parts, fully redundant systems, and no single point of failure compared with earlier versions.

Unlike other AAM companies, Wisk is pursuing autonomous flight from the start, believing it will unlock the scale and full potential for AAM. Wisk says the Generation 6 vehicle leverages the proven technology that accounts for more than 93% of automated pilot functions on today’s commercial flights, as well as new and improved detect and avoid capabilities. Multi-vehicle supervisors will provide human oversight of every flight, with the ability to intervene when needed, it adds. Wisk says it has already completed more than 1,600-plus test flights of its previous generation eVTOLs without accident.

Unlike earlier two-seat versions of the Kitty Hawk Cora-based vehicle, Generation 6 has room for four passengers. It will have a cruising speed of 120 knots; a range of 144km (90 miles) with reserves; fly at an altitude of 2,500-4,000ft above ground; and will be fully autonomous with human oversight. The sixth-generation vehicle features a proprietary 12 propeller design and boom configuration with improved propulsion systems which are optimised for range, improved aircraft control and performance. A raised wing design, extended booms and increased size and number of propeller blades improve safety, stability and the passenger experience through the reduction of cabin noise, it adds.

The latest version features an automotive-like cabin interior, with four seats and ample storage for baggage, offering optimal visibility, a spacious layout, comfortable seats, as well as WiFi and device charging. Accessibility has been a cornerstone of the design process, says Wisk, with an entry and exit designed for passengers across the mobility spectrum and user interfaces to accommodate those with hearing, vision and other impairments. Wisk is aiming to make AAM available to all passengers, with a price target of US$3 per passenger, per mile, it says.

Wisk began in 2010 as Zee Aero, later merging with Kitty Hawk and spun off in 2019 as a separate joint venture company by Kitty Hawk and Boeing. “In 2010, we set out to find a way to skip traffic and get to our destination faster,” says Gary Gysin, CEO. “That inspiration evolved into a mission to deliver safe, everyday flight for everyone. Over the past 12 years, we’ve pursued that mission through the development of five different generations of full-scale aircraft. Our sixth-generation aircraft is the culmination of years of hard work from our industry-leading team, learnings from our previous generations of aircraft, commitment from our investors and the evolution and advancement of technology,” he says.

At the beginning of this year when it secured an additional US$450 million in funding from Boeing, Wisk said within five years following certification of its sixth-generation aircraft, it intends to operate one of the industry’s largest fleets of AAM eVTOLs, anticipating close to 14 million annual flights across 20 cities.