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.”