The eVTOL market is expanding at a rapid pace, and Wisk Aero is adding its new, 6th-gen. autonomous air taxi to the mix.
The California-based company recently revealed its sixth-generation aircraft, an unpiloted craft that’s designed to carry passengers up to 90 miles. Its cruising speed will be 120 knots, and it can fly at an altitude between 2,500 and 4,000 feet.
Of its 12 total propellers, six can tilt to allow the aircraft to take off and land vertically, eliminating the need for long runways before transitioning to wingborne horizontal flight.
What’s exciting about this eVTOL (beyond the fact that it’s autonomous) is that it apparently takes only 15 minutes to fully recharge the batteries. Plus, it boasts a 50-foot wingspan that allows for more stability and passenger comfort in comparison to Wisk’s earlier generation aircraft.
But as for how it’ll fly autonomously, Wisk will have all flight operations conducted with the help of multi-vehicle operators, who will be able to monitor up to three simultaneous flights from a ground-based fleet operations center. If there is an emergency onboard, passengers can press a button to connect with remote hospitality personnel and, if necessary, the operator can remotely command the aircraft to divert from its path or land early.
“Ninety-three percent of the functions on a commercial airliner today are actually performed by a computer, and so autonomy for us is really about taking that a step further,” said Jonathan Lovegren, Wisk’s head of autonomy. “We’re starting with those same proven existing technologies—like navigation systems, autopilots, and flight management systems that enable today’s commercial flight—and we’re adding to that proprietary decision-making logic and algorithms and additional sensing capabilities to create an even more automated system with predictable deterministic outcomes.”
To round out the tech-y experience, the aircraft will offer free on-board Wi-Fi, multiple charging ports, and wireless charging pads. Passengers can also control temperature and lighting from personal touchscreen displays.
It’ll obviously be a while before this thing can officially take to the skies with passengers on board, since it still has to go through rigorous testing and certifications. But Wisk did already submit its G-1 certification basis to the FAA earlier this year, so that’s something.
Wisk Aero eVTOL Gallery
SOURCE | IMAGES: WISK AERO, VIA FUTURE FLIGHT.
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