Urban air mobility company Wisk has signed a memorandum of understanding with the government of New Zealand to establish a passenger transport trial in Canterbury, New Zealand. The trials will use Wisk’s autonomous, all-electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) air taxi, Cora. Details regarding parameters and timeframes for the venture are still in development.
“We are delighted to now have a signed agreement with the New Zealand Government, which will propel Cora’s entry to the air taxi market,” said Wisk CEO Gary Gysin. “We see this agreement as a sign of confidence in our product and abilities to develop and deliver a safe and reliable air taxi service, starting in New Zealand.”
The trial will take place as part of New Zealand’s Airspace Integration Trials Programme, an initiative established in October 2019 to “support the safe testing and development of advanced unmanned aircraft and accelerate their integration into the aviation system.” According to Wisk, it has been testing in the Canterbury region and working with the New Zealand government since 2017. As previously reported by AVweb, Wisk is a recently rebranded joint venture between Boeing and electric transportation solutions company Kitty Hawk Corporation.
Cora travels at about 86 knots (160 km/h) and has a range of approximately 25 miles (40 km) with reserves. Wisk says it has currently logged more than 1,000 flights in the aircraft.
1 passenger = urban mobility?
But 12 waist-level whirling blades in an urban environment?
I believe the average occupancy of an automobile is 1.2, so yes, 1 place satisfies the vast majority of transportation needs. Here in California, cars with two people are considered “high occupancy” and get to drive in special lanes. In any event, single place is just a starting point.
The clear downside of their success will mean not only that the skies will be just as congested, but also that there is a high chance that accidents will now involve property damage on the ground. There will be no simple accidents because most accidents will no longer be confined to designated roadways or traditional transportation areas. If LA is cool with transportation accidents happening in their parks and living rooms then there is no problem 😉
As long as it is not Jet A!
Not the best design we have seen so far.
For all our readers – as we speak, you are home & need to be someplace that is 18 miles away.
Will this vehicle pick you up at your home?
Will it land very close to your destination?
Will all this be in a timely manor? (meaning pick up times)
Just yesterday, a neighbor asked me to help him take a mobility scooter out of his vehicle. It wasn’t too bad UNTIL he said, “I really need your help with the battery pack in the back seat area.” It wasn’t too big but it was heavy as heck. And this is for a scooter. These “vehicles” that’re going to become urban air mobility are going to be carrying a heck of a lot of weight around … for what? So somebody can get to LAX from Van Nuys a bit faster. At some point — given current energy densities available — the whole idea is ridiculous. Leave earlier! Picking that scooter battery up made me decide that ever so much more.
Herb Morrison is gyrating in his grave.