The vertically taking off and landing air taxi should be in regular use in five years. Four people, no pilot: The US aviation company Wisk Aero has presented an autonomous air taxi that can carry four passengers and their luggage. It should be in regular use in five years.
The aircraft, which Wisk calls a sixth-generation flying taxi, is shaped like a conventional airplane with a wingspan of about 15 meters. It is powered by twelve electric propellers attached to the wings.
Six propellers on the front of the wings can be pivoted: they are set upright for vertical take-off and landing. In level flight, they are placed horizontally and generate propulsion. The six propellers on the back of the wings have a vertical axis and provide lift.
The air taxi flies at a speed of 200 km/h
The air taxi is said to be traveling at an altitude of 2,500 to 4,000 feet (762 to 1,219 meters) with a cruising speed of around 220 km/h. Wisk Aero specifies the range as around 140 kilometers plus reserve. The charging time is about a quarter of an hour.
The flying taxi can take off and land vertically. It is to operate from so-called vertiports, which are to be set up on the roofs of large buildings. Customers should order the aircraft via the app and then let it fly to their destination. The air taxi is to travel autonomously and be monitored from a control center.
Wisk Aero was founded in 2019 as a joint venture between the US aviation group Boeing and the start-up Kitty Hawk. Wisk was to build the Cora two-seater air taxi developed by Kitty Hawk, the development of which was funded in part by the US military.
One of the partners has since gone out of business: The Kitty Hawk, founded by Google founder Larry Page, recently closed. However, Wisk is not affected.
Wisk Aero plans to apply to the US Federal Aviation Administration for approval to operate a commercial air taxi service. The plan is to establish a regular service in the next five years.
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