Boeing is to invest almost half a billion dollars into US self-flying electric air taxi developer Wisk. 

Wisk, which describes itself as the developer of the “first all-electric, self-flying air taxi in the US”, said in a statement on January 24, 2022, that it has secured $450 million from Boeing.  

The US aerospace and defense giant is also a strategic partner of Wisk, providing the air taxi company with its expertise.  

The financing helps to make Wisk one of the “most well-funded” companies in the advanced air mobility space, Wisk added in the statement. 

The funding will help Wisk to develop its 6th generation electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) aircraft. It will also aid it to grow, launch scale manufacturing and bring its product to market.  

Wisk’s aircraft is a fixed-wing platform, powered by 12 independent rotors (six on each wing). It can fly at altitudes of between 1500 and 5000 feet, traveling at speeds of up to 100 miles an hour (160km/h) with a range of about 25 miles (40 km). 

Wisk, which is based in San Francisco and New Zealand, says it has logged 1,500 test flights with full-scale aircraft and that its aircraft will be the first candidate for certification of an autonomous, all-electric passenger-carrying air taxi. Its first successful flight was back in 2017. 

Wisk competes with Archer Aviation, whose Maker demonstrator performed its first hover flight in December 2021.  

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Archer Aviation’s Maker electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) demonstrator has completed its first hover flight.
 

Wisk chief executive Gary Gysin said the company was very lucky to have Boeing onboard both as an investor and strategic partner.  

“As we enter this next stage of our growth, this additional funding provides us with capital while allowing us to remain focused on our core business and our number one priority, safety,” Gysin commented.  

Boeing said it was very excited about its investment in Wisk and that having autonomous capability would be key for advanced air mobility, whether passenger or cargo operations.  

“With this investment, we are reconfirming our belief in Wisk’s business and the importance of their work in pioneering all-electric, AI-driven, autonomous capability for the aerospace industry,” commented Marc Allen, Boeing Chief Strategy Officer.   

“Boeing and Wisk have been at the forefront of AAM innovation for more than a decade, and will continue to lead in the years ahead,” Allen added.  

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UK-based start-up Urban-Air Port aims to open the world’s first airport designed to serve eVTOL aircraft from April 2022.