Wisk, the Bay Area air taxi company backed by Boeing and Kitty Hawk, recently had the opportunity to share its vision with Anderson Cooper on an episode of 60 Minutes. The nationwide televised episode also revealed that the newest iteration of Wisk’s eVTOL aircraft – the vehicle for which Wisk plans to obtain type certification from the FAA – will have four seats.
Watch the episode here.
Wisk’s mission is to “deliver safe, all-electric, autonomous, everyday flight for everyone.” Since 2010, the air taxi company has been working toward that mission by designing, developing, and testing five generations of aircraft, and now they are developing their 6th and possibly final iteration, which will have four seats. Much of the company’s work so far has been performed in “stealth mode,” staying out of the public eye, but on April 17th, the 6th generation aircraft made a public debut on the show 60 Minutes with Anderson Cooper.
The TV debut demonstrated many of the key features and changes expected to be made in the latest vehicle iteration. These include a larger seat configuration that provides more space for passengers and baggage, while ensuring that the aircraft is accessible for those with disabilities. In addition to these benefits, the 6th iteration aircraft’s larger capacity opens the door to future use cases, such as cargo transportation or emergency rescue. According to Wisk, higher payloads and cabin volume will better support other applications and use cases long term.
Also featured in the 60 Minutes episode were California-based Joby Aviation and Texas-based LIFT Aircraft, as well as cameos from Beta Technologies, Archer Aviation, EHang, and Lilium, among others.
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Why it’s important: As phrased in Wisk’s latest blog post, “the day in which you’ll be able to skip traffic by flying over it in an air taxi is approaching and we want the world to be ready.” Wisk has notoriously deflected questions about its newest eVTOL design up to this point, but this nationwide televised reveal of its aircraft marks the start of the company revealing further details of its 6th generation aircraft later this year. Moreover, this appearance on a mainstream media source will excite viewers about what the near future holds for the advancement of regional transportation and aerial mobility, increasing the likelihood of public acceptance and buy-in.