Wisk Aero has completed a public demonstration flight of a fully autonomous electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) fixed-wing air taxi.
The milestone flight, said to be a world first, took place at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh, and also marked the company’s first public demonstration of Cora, its 5th Generation autonomous, eVTOL technology demonstrator.
Wisk completed a multi-transition flight, during which the air taxi transitioned from hover to wing borne flight four times. The flight also included multiple maneuvers that demonstrated the unique capabilities of the aircraft, such as hover, 360-degree turns in place, and more.
“We’re proud to demonstrate the autonomous technology behind our self-flying first approach,” said Brian Yutko, CEO of Wisk. “This demonstration showcases the state of readiness for autonomous technology and electric propulsion. Combined with the progress we’re making on Type Certification for our 6th Generation air taxi, we’re proving that autonomy is possible and it’s happening today. We look forward to launching the first passenger service on an all-electric, autonomous air taxi within this decade.”
“We are thrilled to be able to share 13+ years of aviation milestones and now another first with the public. Oshkosh is a particularly fitting milestone venue as it embodies the spirit of passion and innovation at Wisk. We’ve shared something that is really special. For the first time, we have publicly demonstrated fully autonomous flight, conducted by an all-electric, fly-by-wire, vertical take-off and landing aircraft. There was no pilot on board, no pilot controls in the aircraft, and no stick-and-rudder on the ground. The entire flight was operated with the push of a button,” added Jim Tighe, Chief Technology Officer at Wisk.
According to Wisk, the public demonstration flight adds to the company’s history of aviation firsts, including the world’s first full transition of an eVTOL aircraft (1st Generation air taxi), the world’s first piloted flight of a fly-by-wire, all-electric, human-rated aircraft (2nd Generation air taxi, 2015), and the world’s first piloted full transition flight of a human-rated eVTOL aircraft (3rd Generation air taxi, 2017).