Southern California explores autonomous eVTOL flight through partnership with Wisk

Avatar for eVTOLBy eVTOL | February 22, 2022

Estimated reading time 4 minutes, 9 seconds.

Long Beach, California, is looking at becoming one of the first cities to implement advanced air mobility (AAM).

California-based Wisk Aero announced today that it is partnering with the Long Beach Economic Partnership (LBEP) to create an AAM task force that would look at introducing autonomous eVTOL flight in Southern California.

Wisk Aero
Wisk Aero is partnering with the City of Long Beach to explore autonomous eVTOL air taxi services in Southern California. Wisk Aero Image

“Aerospace innovation has always been a strong part of Long Beach history,” said Mayor Robert Garcia, in a press release. “We have produced some of the world’s most modern aircraft, are leading in the space economy, and will now be home to new technologies in advanced air mobility. We look forward to our partnership with Wisk.”

As a non-profit economic development organization, LBEP will co-chair the working group alongside Wisk for the first two years. The task force will include local businesses, government, and community leaders who will focused on evaluating, planning, and implementing AAM services — specifically autonomous eVTOL flight.

This includes looking at the impact to the economy and job creation, community acceptance and outreach, integrating autonomous air taxis into other transportation modes, and opportunities for government funding. Wisk expects its Economic Impact Study that measures the economic benefits of AAM in Southern California will be finished later this year.

“Autonomous, all-electric AAM represents the next revolution in commercial aviation and promises significant economic benefits with minimal environmental impact,” said Randal Hernandez, co-chair of the working group, immediate past chair of the LBEP, and former chair of the City of Long Beach’s Economic Development Commission. “We are proud to partner with an AAM leader like Wisk to further explore the benefits that AAM can bring to the City of Long Beach, the Southern California region, and the state as a whole.”

Backed by Boeing and Kitty Hawk, Wisk has been developing its eVTOL for more than a decade, recently receiving a significant half a billion dollar funding boost from Boeing earlier this year.

The company is currently developing its sixth-generation eVTOL, which it plans to get type-certified with the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) as an autonomous, passenger-carrying aircraft.

Wisk is just one of a few eVTOL developers that plan to go straight to commercial operations with an autonomous air taxi, so far conducting more than 1,550 flight tests with its various models.

Other than its autonomous capabilities, Wisk has been keeping details about its aircraft under wraps, but during the company’s media briefing with Boeing last month, Gary Gysin, CEO of Wisk, remarked that the eVTOL developer will share the design later this year.

The company has not committed to a timeframe for certification, previously stating that the certification timeline is largely up to the regulators.

Notice a spelling mistake or typo?

Click on the button below to send an email to our team and we will get to it as soon as possible.

Report an error or typo

Have a story idea you would like to suggest?

Click on the button below to send an email to our team and we will get to it as soon as possible.

Suggest a story

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.