Boeing has sunk another half-billion dollars into Wisk Aero, its partner in the urban mobility sector, to fund its flight test and certification program. Wisk is a collaboration of Boeing and Kitty Hawk, and the Cora electric aircraft is now in its sixth iteration and flying regularly. It has 12 wing-mounted horizontally oriented rotors to do the vertical part of its flight profile and a single pusher prop to scoot it through the air aerodynamically using the wings and a boom tail for lift. The company has flown the prototypes 1,500 times but for Boeing, it appears the hardware is secondary to the brain boxes that make it fly. 

Cora uses artificial intelligence to fly autonomously and Boeing says that’s the future of aviation. “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. Autonomy is the key to unlocking scale across all AAM applications, from passenger to cargo and beyond,” Boeing Chief Strategy Officer Marc Allen said in a statement to TransportUp. “That’s why straight-to-autonomy is a core first principle. 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.”

20 COMMENTS

  1. Why drag along battery weight, housing and motors just for VTOL when all of that can be eliminated? The range would increase and the cost would go down. It would be very easy to have it up graded and use electric or fuel.

  2. Now you know why Boeing stock is crap. Wasting money in this B’s! Bill Boeing is rolling over in his grave. This is total waste of time. People need to get their heads out of the sand and realize it will never work. It amazes me about the idiots that said electric fields were going to make people sterile back in 70s/80s and now they are pushing this.

  3. After reading the statement from Boeing’s “Chief Strategy Officer” (how is that even a thing?) I looked at the checklist.
    1. Am I reading The Onion?
    No.
    2. Babylon Bee?
    No.
    3. Is the article dated April 1, 2022?
    No.

    No, it’s just Boeing and what Boeing has become these days.

    • It is perhaps a sign of the apocalypse, but I find myself in total agreement with AJF. The mobility needs of millions of people in any urban settings will never be addressed by aircraft. This is a sky Segway “more important than the Internet!” (now out of production)

  4. I believe that we will have electric flight and I believe in autonomous operations but $450 million for this concept device seems just crazy. Glad it is not my money. Also do not like the idea of having 12 motors and propellers that do not contribute anything in cruise other than weight and drag.

    The reason I believe is electric flight for basic training, some general av, and commuter and short haul flight is simple economics. I have an electric car that costs about 2.5 cents/mile to operate with no scheduled maintenance (after 45,000 miles, I did have to replace the rear wiper blade). The same economics will drive electric flight. Concerning autonomous flight, a long time ago I used to operate an interesting simulator — the Apollo project lunar landing simulator at MIT/Draper Lab. This convinced me that autonomous control was possible and this was with a computer that had only 64 kilo bytes of memory. The lander had 3 landing modes, full-auto, semi-auto, and full-manual. Unless you were going to land on a boulder or the edge of a crater, full-auto would be my choice but the astronauts could never do that so they used the semi-auto mode to allow them to maneuver the lander. Full-manual would almost certainly added a new crater to moon as it was almost impossible to control with every input resulting in a coupled accelerating effect. So anyone telling you that the astronauts went into manual mode to land is lying to you.

  5. So Boeing has lost big money for at least the past two or three years and they have an extra half $billion to flush down the toilet. This either tells you everything you need t know about Boeing management or is merely confirmation of what most of us already knew.
    If I were on the BOD, I would be very concerned about a stockholder uprising.

  6. Boeing is one of many American companies that are now virtually socialized crony capitalist monsters. More and more are joining the ranks because innovation, quality, and good business practices are becoming less and less important compared to political power playing and financial engineering.

    If you don’t like this, just wait. More on the way.

    • Objection: engineers build things that work, you are speaking of manipulation etc.

      So do you vote for officials who will be stewards of public trust, instead of cronyist indirectly-bribed overspending do-gooders who prop up failing companies while failing to protect against initiation of force?

      The free market will wipe out troubled companies if not interfered with.

  7. But it is good PR, which counts because fool voters elect incompetent officials who pander to climate catastrophists.

    Climate is not warming at a rapid rate, according to accurate thermometers such as weather balloons and satellite sensors. Sea level is not rising faster than it has been since the end of the cool era circa 1750, the cool era that drove Viking farmers out of southwest Greenland. (Check PSMSL.org.)

    Humans cannot cause runaway warming, because the saturation effect of overlap of spectra of carbon dioxide and dihydrogen monoxide vapor limits increase to a small amount most of which has already been realized.

  8. $495 Million??? really?
    Attach four or more of those electric propellers to the spreader bars of an Amphibious Float Cessna 206 then stick the batteries down in the floats. Mount a little joy stick near the throttle and for $50,000 you would have an eVTOL Amphibious six seat aircraft with 400 nautical mile range @ 120 knots. Boeing has failed their investors and the aviation industry. What a waste of money. 🙁

    Just a simple bolt-on eVTOL kit that could easily be removed. An STC for the kit would be way easier to get. In the mean time the Homebuilt guys can get the bugs worked out.

    • Someone is trying to electrify a Beaver, Harbour Air has signed up to provide the airplane and trial it – thought they had more sense but it will probably be good PR as much of their customer traffic is BC gummint people flitting between

      Supplier of motor and battery technology was in Seattle area – MagniX – but that may have changed. Apparently has flown but sounds like an R&D program not near ready for prime time.
      Appears that batteries are just behind the engine in front of pilot, which helps balance the airplane without nose extension.

      Gummints are providing money to HA and MagniX. The usual.

      I do not understand Harbour’s claim of being able to recharge batteries in turnarounds.

  9. As an investor I sometimes wonder if now is a good time to buy Boeing, figuring they have blundered as much as they can and have hit bottom, and will soon rise to dominate the industry again.

    Sadly I still don’t think they have managed to find the bottom.