ABOVE: Wisk’s sixth-generation eVTOL air taxi design
Electric air taxi startup Wisk Aero has become a wholly owned subsidiary of Boeing after a second manufacturer, Kitty Hawk Corporation, sold its shares to the Boeing Group.
The news was announced in a press briefing on 31 May in which Wisk CEO Brian Yutko announced the change of ownership, clarifying that Boeing is now the sole owner.
Wisk was established in 2019 as a joint venture between the Boeing Company and electric aircraft startup Kitty Hawk Corporation, reimagining Kitty Hawk’s plans for an autonomous flying ‘Cora’ vehicle. However, after founder Sebastian Thrun tweeted of his intention to “wind down” operations in September 2022, the company closed.
Wisk Aero’s eVTOL (electric vertical take-off and landing) craft aims to carry four passengers up to a 90 mile range. Alongside a sixth-generation design, Wisk are also “one of the only Advanced Air Mobility companies to pursue a self-flying first approach,” hoping to combine autonomous flight with ground-monitored human oversight.
In January 2022, Boeing invested $450 million into Wisk, which – along with previous funding – reaffirmed the manufacturing giant’s commitment to the Advanced Air Mobility sector. Although a timeline for certification has not been published, the two companies unveiled a 64-page operational roadmap in September 2022; outlining their desire to enable “safe and affordable urban flight for everyone”.
IMAGE: WISK AERO LLC