Boeing subsidiary Insitu to join Wisk’s autonomous air taxi passenger trials in New Zealand

Avatar for eVTOLBy eVTOL | March 29, 2021

Estimated reading time 3 minutes, 1 seconds.

Wisk continues to progress toward passenger trials of its autonomous air taxi service in New Zealand, working in partnership with the nation’s broader Airspace Integration Trial Programme (AITP).

Wisk Cora eVTOL
Boeing subsidiary Insitu Pacific will join Wisk’s trials of passenger-carrying autonomous air taxis in New Zealand, set to enter the implementation phase later this year. Wisk Photo

The implementation phase of the program is expected to begin later this year, according to Wisk, an eVTOL joint venture between Kitty Hawk and Boeing. Wisk’s two-seat eVTOL aircraft, Cora, has conducted more than 1,500 test flights to date, according to the company, across at least seven airframes flying in New Zealand and Hollister, California.

The aerospace giant confirmed in an interview to earlier this month that Wisk is its “singular go-to-market approach” in the emerging urban air mobility sector, with personnel from the former Aurora Flight Sciences personal air vehicle (PAV) program joining Wisk’s development team.

Boeing subsidiary Insitu Pacific Pty Ltd., which develops and supplies tactical unmanned aircraft systems to the Asia-Pacific region, will support the trial as the Wisk team seeks to demonstrate continued leadership in autonomous flight operations and the integration of unmanned aircraft into the existing airspace.

“Wisk has always seen the distinct advantages of New Zealand, including the country’s globally respected Civil Aviation Authority and flexibility for Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS),” said Gary Gysin, CEO of Wisk. “These factors, combined with the advantages of testing and operating in a relatively uncongested airspace and the innovative culture of early adoption, makes New Zealand uniquely positioned as a leader for autonomous UAM integration trials.”

Other use cases of autonomous aircraft to be explored by the New Zealand government through the AITP include hazard management and monitoring, agriculture, and cargo delivery. According to a graphic available on the Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment’s website, the program is expected to run until 2024, with the timeframe of specific projects varying based on scope and technical complexities.

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