Wisk, the air taxi startup that once partnered with Boeing in 2019, recently revealed its new electric autonomous plane. The Wisk Aero is his sixth-generation craft design, with seating for four, and it hopes to reshape intra-city travel and avoid traffic for years to come.
We have seen great progress in recent years regarding electric aircraft, and Joby Aviation recently received approval from the FAA for test flights. However, Wisk is another “autonomous urban air mobility” company trying to do the same thing.
The company recently introduced its sixth generation ship with an improved design and many safety features. Wisk said he would seek approval from the Federal Aviation Administration to transport passengers as part of a commercial air taxi service. However, there are still several steps you’ll need to take before you get to that point.
In addition to having no pilot inside, the Wisk Aero is unique in that it is an eVTOL (vertical takeoff and landing) craft. Take off or land vertically, like a helicopter, thanks to six fixed-position electric motors along the back of both wings. Then there are six more electrically adjustable rotors up front, helping it propel forward at over 110-120 knots (138 MPH) and reach altitudes between 2,500 and 4,000 feet.
As for battery life, Wisk says the ship, in its current form, has a range of 90 miles, making it ideal for quick trips within the city thanks to a small wingspan of less than 50 feet. width. The company then mentioned that it employs fast-charging technology similar to the electric vehicle industry to recharge the battery in 15 minutes or less. That way, she’ll be fully charged and ready to go when her four passengers step off and another round comes aboard. Here is what the company had to say regarding security:
“Through a multifaceted approach, including human-supervised autonomous flight, a simplified design with fewer moving parts, fully redundant systems and no single point of failure, Wisk’s aircraft is being designed to exceed the industry’s rigorous safety standards. today’s aviation one at a time – a billion chances of an accident.”
It appears that the Wisk Aero is one of the first electric aircraft seeking FAA type certification for a VTOL aircraft, which should help it reach areas more easily than aircraft that require a runway.
For those wondering, the FAA requires aviation companies to obtain three different certifications before offering commercial service. Those are an FAA safety standard, a production certification, and an air carrier certification. It is not an easy task and there are currently no electric aircraft in commercial operation.
If all goes according to plan, Wisk will offer commercial taxi flights in more than 20 major global markets over the next five years.
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