Wisk, the Urban Air Mobility (UAM) company behind the world’s first all-electric, self-flying air taxi, Cora, resumed flight testing in June in both the U.S. and in New Zealand.
The flight tests will evaluate the performance of the aircraft in a real world environment, while collecting data that will help inform the further development, operation, safety features and certification of the aircraft.
“We are excited to resume test flights following a brief pause due to COVID-19,” said Gary Gysin, CEO of Wisk. “The team’s dedication over the past few months has allowed us to remain focused on critical non-flight areas, such as certification, software development, and operations. This has allowed us to maintain momentum during this unique time. But it’s awesome to be flying again.”
Flight tests had been temporarily paused due to shelter-in-place restrictions resulting from the Coronavirus pandemic. Prior to the pandemic, the company had completed more than 1300 test flights expanding the flight envelope, providing data for model, design, and requirements updates, and maturing procedures to operate the aircraft safely and efficiently.
“Our first priority has always been safety, both for our employees and in the development of our aircraft,” said Carl Engel, Director, Flight Test for Wisk. “As we return to flight testing, we have implemented a number of procedures and social distancing measures based on best practices and recommendations from local and national health and government organizations.”
July 1 marked the one-year anniversary of Wisk, a company formed as a joint venture between Boeing and Kitty Hawk.
The two-seat Cora aircraft is capable of speeds up to 100 mph, 25 miles range plus ten minutes reserve, and is designed to operate between 1,500-5,000 feet above ground with its 12 independent lift fans and pusher-prop.
Cora first took to the skies in 2017. Rising like a helicopter and flying like a plane, Cora will remove the need for a runway allowing it to land where passengers need to picked up and dropped off.