Advanced air mobility (AAM) company Wisk Aero secured $450 million in funding from Boeing, making it one of the best-funded AAM companies in the world, according to Wisk’s website. The US and New Zealand-based startup is an AAM company currently working on the development of an eVTOL – electric vertical take-off and landing vehicle – with more than 10 years of experience and more than 1,500 test flights. In addition to Boeing, it has the support of the US company Kitty Hawk Corporation.
In a statement, the company announced that, “Combined with previous funding, this investment reinforces Wisk’s strong position as a leader in privately backed AAM and underscores the strength of Wisk’s strategic partnership with Boeing and their collaboration in critical technology development.” Gary Gysin, CEO of Wisk, told Yahoo Finance he believes the market for autonomous air taxis could reach $4 trill ion by 2035. He has high ambitions for revolutionizing the way people commute.
We are incredibly fortunate to have Boeing not only as an investor but also as a strategic partner.Gary Gysin, CEO of Wisk Aero
Wisk announced that the investment by the Boeing Company will advance the development of Wisk’s sixth-generation eVTOL, which is also a strong candidate for certification as an autonomous, all-electric, passenger-carrying aircraft in the United States. In addition, the funding will also support the next stages of growth, manufacturing and commercialization.
Wisk’s estimates that within five years, there would be some 14 million flights per year, used by some 40 million people in 20 cities, all CO2 emission-free.
Gysin said the company “is extremely well positioned to deliver on our long-term strategy and our commitment to fly every day safely for everyone. The partnership with Boeing gives us access to a variety of resources, industry-leading expertise, global reach, extensive certification experience and more. As we enter the next stage of our growth, this additional funding provides us with capital and allows us to stay focused on our core business and our number one priority, safety.”
For his part, Marc Allen, Boeing’s chief strategy officer, said, “With this investment, we are reconfirming our belief in Wisk’s business and the importance of their work in pioneering all-electric, AI-driven autonomous capability for the aerospace industry. Autonomy is the key to unlocking scale in all AAM applications, from passenger to cargo and more. That’s why direct autonomy is a critical first principle.”
Boeing and Wisk have been at the forefront of AAM innovation for more than a decade and will continue to lead for years to come.Marc Allen, Boeing’s chief strategy officer
As for Wisk’s relationships with other entities such as the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Gysin told Yahoo Finance that he has been “pleasantly surprised” by the support the company has received from regulators around the globe. He said that the FAA “partnership” has been critical in providing guidance to Wisk.
The eVTOL developed by Wisk and supported by Boeing will have a range of about 40 kilometers and operate autonomously at a cruise speed of 160 kilometers per hour. For its vertical ascent and descent, it has 12 rotors with independent lift fans, a fixed wing and a single propeller. Among the safety systems introduced, the aircraft integrates a parachute for landing in case of emergency.