Wisk Unveils Generation 6 eVTOL Air Taxi Prototype

The four-passenger, all-electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aircraft is the first candidate for FAA certification for autonomous, passenger-carrying air taxi, the company said.

The all-electric four-seat Generation 6 air taxi has a 36-foot wingspan and a cruising speed of about 120 knots. [Courtesy: Wisk Aero]

Wisk Aero, the California-based developer of electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aircraft, has unveiled its Generation 6 air taxi, which it says is the first candidate for type certification of an autonomous eVTOL by the FAA.

The all-electric four-seat air taxi with a 36-foot wingspan will have a range of about 90 sm, with reserves, and a cruising speed of about 120 knots. It features 12 tilt-rotor propellers mounted ahead of the wings.

“In 2010, we set out to find a way to skip traffic and get to our destination faster,” Gary Gysin, CEO of Wisk, said in a statement Monday. “That inspiration evolved into a mission to deliver safe, everyday flight for everyone."

Wisk’s business model calls for its air taxis to enter the market as self-flying aircraft, monitored by an operator on the ground. The company says autonomous flight is safer because it “removes” human [pilot] error from the equation, which Wisk attests is the primary cause of most general aviation accidents. Autonomous systems are projected by Wisk to result in reliable, predictable outcomes on a consistent and repeatable basis. 

Over the span of the past 12 years, the company has developed five different full-scale aircraft, culminating with the current Generation 6.

"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," Gysin said.

Backed by Google co-founder Larry Page, the company is flush with cash from a $450 million investment from Boeing (NYSE: BA), which was announced in January 2022. In September, Wisk and Boeing released a comprehensive concept operations report for its uncrewed, self-flying air taxis.

The 64-page document represents the next step in Wisk’s plan to move ahead of its competitors by launching service with automated air taxis, operated by “multi-vehicle supervisors” (MVS) on the ground. Wisk’s competitors, including Archer Aviation (NYSE: ACHR) and Joby Aviation (NYSE: JOBY), intend to fly passengers initially using on-board pilots, before eventually transitioning to an automated platform. 

Wisk, Archer, Joby, and others are flight testing full-size prototypes of their eVTOLs. Both Archer and Joby have said they expect to achieve FAA certification in time to enter service in 2024.

Thom Patterson contributed.

Kimberly is managing editor of FLYING Digital.

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