Boeing-Backed Air Taxi Manufacturer Wisk Has Big Plans for Australia

The 6th-generation Wisk air taxi soon to start operating in Australia 8 photos
Photo: Wisk Aero
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Who will be the first to officially launch air taxi rides? There’s an undeniable effervescence in the AAM (Advanced Air Mobility) sector, with operators all over the world completing the final steps towards commercial air taxi services. In Australia, it looks like the one to kick things off will be Wisk Aero.
If there’s one mobility sector that seems to be truly borderless, it’s the one that’s occupied by eVTOLs (electric vertical take-off and landing). The German manufacturer Volocopter will bring its flying taxi not just to Europe, but also to the U.S. The Chinese EHang has already flown its electric aircraft not just in Asian countries such as Japan, but even in Spain, where its AAV (autonomous aerial vehicle) EH216 was formally selected by the National Police. And there are plenty of other similar examples.

Most of the manufacturers in this field have tried to secure pre-orders from customers all over the world, so we’ll most likely witness an interesting variety of eVTOL models operating in areas (or even continents) that are far away from their place of origin.

This seems to be the case for Wisk Aero. The U.S. builder headquartered in Mountain View, California, is getting closer to officially launching air taxi services all the way in South East Queensland (SEQ), Australia. This isn’t a low-profile deal with a local aviation operator, but a complex project that’s being developed together with the local authorities.

Wisk announced its collaboration with the South East Queensland Council of Mayors (COMSEQ) last summer, planning a long-term presence in the area. A recent development confirms that this partnership goes far beyond a simple agreement for eVTOL operations. The two have launched a white paper called “Bringing Advanced Air Mobility (AAM) to Australia,” focusing on what the industry and the government need to do, in order to speed things up.

COMSEQ is the largest regional local government organization in Australia, so it seems like the right partner for this large-scale endeavor. On the other hand, Wisk stands out among other eVTOL developers as well. It claims to have been the first one in the U.S. to fly an autonomous passenger eVTOL, back in 2017.

Plus, it’s backed by none other than Boeing, who invested $450 million in the development of Wisk’s air taxi, at the beginning of last year. By the fall of 2022, Wisk had unveiled its 6th-generation prototype, claiming that it was the most advanced air taxi in the world.

Compared to the previous versions, the latest Wisk eVTOL claims to ensure better stability, lower noise levels, and increased passenger comfort (it’s designed with four passenger seats).

There is no official date for the launch of air taxi services in SEQ, but the local authorities are working with the American manufacturer to bring them as soon as possible.
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About the author: Otilia Drăgan
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Otilia believes that if it’s eco, green, or groundbreaking, people should know about it (especially if it's got wheels or wings). Working in online media for over five years, she's gained a deeper perspective on how people everywhere can inspire each other.
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