Watch: Wisk Aero’s Self-Flying Air Taxi Completes Its First Public Flight in L.A.

Wisk Aero just reached another major milestone.

The American outfit is the first to fly an electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) air taxi in the greater Los Angeles area, according to a statement shared on Monday. The public demonstration, which took place at Long Beach’s Festival of Flight on October 21, proved that autonomous passenger flights could soon become a reality.

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Wisk actually conducted a number of test flights at Long Beach Airport throughout the month of October to see how the eVTOL would perform in a complex commercial airport. It has quite a comprehensive test program, in fact, with more than 1,700 test flights completed to date. It recently carried out the world’s first public demonstration of an autonomous eVTOL fixed-wing aircraft, too.

Wisk Aero eVTOL aircraft flying at Long Beach
Wisk’s fifth-generation electric air taxi flying out of Long Beach Airport.

The craft in the sky at the Festival of Flight was Wisk’s fifth-generation electric air taxi. (The newer Generation 6, which was unveiled at the Paris Air Show in June, promises a range of 90 miles and a cruise speed of up to 129 knots.) The flight was not only quiet and safe but also provided the company with valuable insights.

“Autonomous flight is possible today and it’s happening now in L.A.,” Wisk CEO Brian Yutko said in a statement. “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 L.A.—and to have done so with an autonomous aircraft.”

Wisk Generation 6 eVTOL.
Wisk Generation 6 eVTOL.

The company also discussed the future of air mobility with the Long Beach’s mayor and other city officials.

“I am proud to see the future of flight becoming a reality in Long Beach,” Mayor Rex Richardson added. “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.”

Wisk became a fully owned subsidiary of Boeing earlier this year, giving it access to the airframer’s R&D, testing, and certification expertise. The company expects its air taxis to be mainstream by the end of the decade.

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