Wisk Aero, Boeing’s electric flying taxi company, held the first public eVTOL demonstration flights in LA this week. The company accomplished the feat at the 100th anniversary of the Long Beach Airport. A video from the event shows the record-setting flight.
Wisk began as Zee Aero in 2010, later merging with Kitty Hawk Corporation. After realizing the potential behind its fifth-generation electric air taxi, the aircraft and team were spun out to form Wisk with an investment from Boeing.
The aerospace giant injected several rounds of funding into the startup, and earlier this year, Wisk became a fully-owned subsidiary of Boeing.
Although the company operates separately, Wisk has access to Boeing’s vast network of development, testing, and other areas of expertise.
In October, Wisk became the first electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) air taxi company to hold test flights in the greater LA area.
During Long Beach’s Festival of Flight, Wisk extended its accomplishments, holding the first public electric air taxi flight demonstration. The demo (using Wisk’s 5th gen eVTOL) previewed the future of autonomous passenger flight.
Boeing’s electric flying taxi takes flight in LA
This week’s event allowed the company to hold an autonomous flight alongside other passenger airlines in a complex, real-life situation.
Wisk and leadership from Boeing hosted the mayor of Long Beach and local and state officials to discuss the future of Advanced Air Mobility (AAM) in the region following the event.
Mayor Rex Richardson said, “I am proud to see the future of flight becoming a reality in Long Beach.” He explained the partnership with Wisk and Boeing will “create good jobs” while “integrating a safe, quiet, and environmentally responsible transportation option in Long Beach.”
Wisk announced a partnership with Long Beach through the city’s Long Beach Economic Partnership (LBEP) in 2022.
The company also completed the first public demonstration of an autonomous eVTOL fixed-wing aircraft during EAA AirVenture in OshKosh, WI, in July 2023.
Wisk is already developing its 6th-generation aircraft. The all-electric passenger aircraft is expected to have seating for four plus luggage, 90 miles of range, autonomous capabilities, and a 15-minute charge time.
Several eVTOL companies are making quick progress. Jovy Aviation held its first test flights with a pilot onboard, while Jetson’s ONE “flying car” became the first eVTOL certified for flight in Italy this month.
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