The day will come when those who want to travel sustainably will be able to do so on electric planes. This week’s progress revealed as much. During Long Beach’s “Festival of Flight” this week, Wisk became the first eVTOL (electric vertical takeoff and landing) air taxi firm to make public flights at Long Beach Airport in Los Angeles County. The end result was tangible proof of the safety and efficiency of autonomous passenger flights. Wisk completed unique flight operations with other real-world commercial passenger aircraft operations in an involved, real-world commercial, airport scenario.
Wisk’s flying tests and public displays highlight the company’s commitment to the technological success of aircraft with a sustainable flare, and, ultimately, to the future. Wisk has a long history of flight testing, with over 1700 test flights. Wisk Aero has proven itself again as a leading Advanced Air Mobility (AAM) company.
The multi-transition flight was conducted using Wisk’s 5th-generation (Cora) autonomous, eVTOL aircraft, demonstrating the safety and reality of autonomous passenger flight. Long Beach’s mayor, local and state officials from the Los Angeles region, and Boeing executives met to discuss the region’s Advanced Air Mobility future.
“Autonomous flight is possible today and it’s happening now in LA,” said Brian Yutko, CEO of Wisk. “Los Angeles is a target launch city for many in our industry and we are extremely proud to be the first air taxi company to fly in LA – and to have done so with an autonomous aircraft. We are fortunate to have the partnership and support of Boeing throughout the area to help build relationships and advance our mission. We are thankful to Long Beach for their ongoing partnership and support as we make safe, everyday, autonomous flight a reality for Southern California and the world.”
Based on a recent report from California State University–Long Beach, urban air mobility (UAM) “can increase urban transportation choices while contributing to sustainability and economic development.” The Long Beach Economic Partnership commissioned the study, which discovered that both users and non-users would benefit economically.
Along with the mayor’s praise, Wisk’s Long Beach case study believes that building a 20-vertiport network would generate “2,133 jobs, $174.0 million in labor income, and $423.6 million in economic output.” When fully operational, the vertiport network will “generate $173.3 million in expenditures, $90.3 million in labor income, and 943 jobs. ”
“I am proud to see the future of flight becoming a reality in Long Beach,” said Mayor Rex Richardson. “Long Beach has been a leader in aviation for decades and those careers helped build and sustain the middle class here for generations. I am looking forward to working with Wisk and Boeing to create good jobs and integrating a safe, quiet, and environmentally responsible transportation option in Long Beach.”
In related news, Lilium Jet, in collaboration with EMCJET, launched the first private eVTOL in the United States. Texas-based EMCJET secured production slots for the first U.S. Jets Lilium Pioneer Edition in response to premium market demand. This is the first time in the United States that Lilium Jets or any other eVTOL aircraft will be available for private purchase. Customers in major Texas cities like Austin, Houston, San Antonio, and Dallas will be prioritized.
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