Wisk has successfully flown its fifth-generation eVTOL, Cora at this week’s EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh. The event marks the companies first pubic autonomous demonstration of its anticipated eVTOL air taxi.
The flight, which included two runway passes and a vertical to wingborne flight maneuver, lasted 4 minutes and carried no passengers. “The final portion of the flight it came back to center stage, did a 270-deg. pedal turn, hovered there for a minute, did a little hat tip—dipped its nose to the crowd,” said Jay Pankowski, Wisk manager of operations support, who served as flight announcer. “We couldn’t be more thrilled with the outcome.”
Headquartered just outside of San Jose, California, Wisk has been steadily progressing through its flight test campagin ahead of FAA certification.
“The context of [the demonstration] was being the first performer after the parachuters and the National Anthem opening what is a pretty complex airshow, with a lot of fast-moving airplanes,” said Wisk Aero CEO Brian Yutko, speaking with Aviation Week. “Fitting into that environment and doing it in a non-disruptive way was a key focus for us and the team totally knocked it out of the park.”
Wisk will get plenty of facetime this week as it will perform public demonstration flights on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday. The flights are manned by a six person crew, 3 remote pilot/engineers, a crew chief and assistant, and a visual observer, which the FAA requires while Wisk is unable to remotely sense and avoid other traffic.
“What we’ve said so far is we intend to certify it and get into commercial operations this decade,” Yutko said. “It’s our job to put forward what we think is a safe system; it’s the FAA’s job to independently check it and validate it. Given how novel this all is, we don’t want to improperly apply pressure to our teams or to the other teams to meet a date. But we have internal timelines and we think that we can get the job done and start commercial service this decade.”
Why it matters: eVTOL has been increasingly highlighted at EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh since the Covid pandemic. With designs reaching flight test maturity, the public gets to now see eVTOL’s first hand and it can be expected that fully autonomous operation and FAA certification is in the not too distant future.