Wisk Aero eVTOL Flies at Oshkosh
Today is the third day of EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2023. The D.O.M. magazine team has been putting in our steps walking the grounds of the show the past two days.
Yesterday, I planned to be near the flight line when the daily airshow began. There was a special flight demonstration planned. Wisk Aero was going to make its first public demonstration flight of its fully autonomous electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) fixed-wing air taxi. A big crowd of AirVenture attendees watched as the Wisk flew from one end of the runway to the other, hovered and turned around in place, and flew back to the other end. It turned 180 degrees around once again and flew to the center of the airshow area, where it accomplished a vertical landing. It then taxied to the front of Boeing square.
What I found amazing was that there was no pilot flying the aircraft. It accomplished the entire flight itself (while a person was monitoring the data to ensure everything was going according to plan). The entire flight was truly autonomous!
Seeing the Wisk aircraft in action made me realize how close we are to having similar vehicles it and similar vehicles flying in our airspace in the not-too-distant future.
Brian Yutko, CEO of Wisk says, "We’re proud to demonstrate the autonomous technology behind our self-flying first approach. This demonstration showcases the state of readiness for autonomous technology and electric propulsion. Combined with the progress we’re making on Type Certification for our 6th Generation air taxi, we’re proving that autonomy is possible and it’s happening today. We look forward to launching the first passenger service on an all-electric, autonomous air taxi within this decade.”
“We are thrilled to be able to share 13+ years of aviation milestones and now another first with the public. Oshkosh is a particularly fitting milestone venue as it embodies the spirit of passion and innovation at Wisk. We’ve shared something that is really special. For the first time, we have publicly demonstrated fully autonomous flight, conducted by an all-electric, fly-by-wire, vertical takeoff and landing aircraft. There was no pilot on board, no pilot controls in the aircraft, and no stick-and-rudder on the ground. The entire flight was operated with the push of a button,” says Jim Tighe, Chief Technology Officer at Wisk.
If you weren't at AirVenture yesterday to see the flight demonstration, you can view a short clip of it on Wisk's YouTube channel HERE.