Wisk Aero, an Advanced Air Mobility (AAM) company, revealed its self-flying, all-electric, four-passenger vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) air taxi. As Wisk’s go-to-market aircraft, Generation 6 represents the first candidate for type certification by the FAA of an autonomous eVTOL.
Generation 6 combines autonomous technology and software, human oversight of every flight, and an overall simplified design to deliver a safe passenger transport system in commercial aviation.
“In 2010, we set out to find a way to skip traffic and get to our destination faster,” said Gary Gysin, CEO of Wisk. “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 6th 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.”
Through a multifaceted approach – including autonomous flight with human oversight, a simplified design with fewer moving parts, fully redundant systems, and no single point of failure – Wisk’s aircraft is being designed to exceed today’s rigorous aviation safety standards of a one-in-a-billion chance of an accident.
Wisk is one of the only AAM companies to pursue a self-flying first approach. This approach is core to the company’s overall strategy and is a critical element in bringing one of the safest systems to market in aviation. It is also the key to unlocking the scale and the full potential for the broader AAM industry.
Wisk’s multi-faceted self-flying first approach includes: leveraging the same proven technology that accounts for more than 93% of automated pilot functions on today’s commercial flights; new technology such as improved detect and avoid capabilities, sensors, and more; Wisk’s logic-driven, procedural-based, decision-making software which provides reliable, deterministic outcomes; multi-vehicle supervisors that provide human oversight of every flight and have the ability to intervene when needed;
Wisk’s 6th Generation aircraft leverages key learnings and insights from its previous five generations of eVTOL aircraft to deliver a new level of performance. It features a cruising speed of 120 knots, a range of 90 miles with reserves (~144 kilometers with reserves), an altitude: 2,500 – 4,000 ft above ground, four seats, a less than 50-foot wingspan, electric power, an autonomous operation with human oversight.
Wisk’s 6th Generation aircraft design and configuration includes:
Proprietary 12 propeller design and boom configuration with improved propulsion systems. Tilting propulsion units in front of the wing and fixed lift units aft of the wing are optimized for range, improved aircraft control and performance, and efficient energy management.
A raised wing design, extended booms, and increased size and number of propeller blades to improve safety, stability, and the passenger experience, while reducing both in-cabin noise and the aircraft’s overall noise footprint.
The company began in 2010 and later merged with Kitty Hawk Corporation. Upon recognizing the commercial potential of Wisk’s 5th generation aircraft, the aircraft, its technology, and team were spun out to form Wisk, with an investment from The Boeing Company. Since 2010, the company has designed, developed, and tested five generations of aircraft and completed over 1600+ test flights, without an accident, using one of the world’s largest full-scale fleets of eVTOL aircraft.
In 2014, Wisk was one of the first companies in the world to complete a full transition (vertical takeoff to wingborne flight) and, in 2017, was the first company in the U.S. to fly an autonomous, all-electric, vertical takeoff and landing air taxi designed for passenger use.