Wisk is developing an autonomous, electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) aircraft for urban air mobility utilising New Zealand’s world class reputation in certification and regulation and bringing with them considerable R&D investment.
Executive Director, NZUS Council
Wisk is an Advanced Air Mobility (AAM) company formed as a joint venture by The Boeing Company and Kitty Hawk Corporation. It is developing an autonomous, electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) aircraft for urban air mobility, also known as a flying taxi. The company has a team of more than 360 people worldwide, with 20 based in New Zealand.
The flying taxi, named Cora, was brought to New Zealand after a global search for an ideal test ground. Wisk was looking for somewhere bold and progressive, focused on sustainability, and with a world class reputation in certification and regulation. New Zealand fit this bill and has potential to grow as a test bed to complement US innovation.
The aircraft is a flagship project under the New Zealand Government’s Innovative Partnerships programme and Wisk was the first industry participant in the Government’s Airspace Integration Trials. As part of these trials, Wisk is undertaking passenger transport trials. The collected data will be used to inform regulations in New Zealand and enable the integration of urban air mobility into the wider transport system.
Wisk has brought in considerable R&D investment in New Zealand and is working to grow the AAM industry. This includes working with other New Zealand based aerospace companies Dawn Aerospace, Kea Aerospace, Merlin Labs, and Pyper Vision, to establish the New Zealand Aerospace Industry Executive. The Executive has championed the National Aerospace Strategy and is working to increase the economic contribution of the industry to $10bn by 2030.
Wisk has also developed a partnership with Ngāi Tahu, working to build a pipeline of talent into science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) subjects. This is part of wider engagement with the New Zealand Government and tertiary institutions in New Zealand to ensure the skills needed by the aerospace sector are developed locally. This will not only help grow the local industry but will attract big international players to locate their R&D and testing functions in New Zealand.