Wisk has resumed flying with its Cora eVTOL aircraft after flight testing was interrupted by government restrictions imposed due to the Covid-19 emergency. The company, which is a joint venture between Boeing and Kitty Hawk, announced today that it has restarted flights with four prototypes at its sites New Zealand and California.
Before the Covid pandemic, the Wisk development team had made more than 1,300 test flights in which it expanded the two-seater’s flight envelope and collected data to refine the design and develop procedures for operating the aircraft. According to flight-test director Carl Engel, the company has implemented some safety procedures and social distancing measures based on input from the local authorities. Over the past three months, Wisk has focused on work required to prepare for certification, software development, and operations.
In early February, the New Zealand government signed a memorandum of understanding with Wisk covering plans to conduct autonomous passenger-carrying flight trials in the Canterbury region. The agreement is part of the government’s industry-wide Airspace Integration Trials.
The company has not published a timeline for service entry for a model that it intends to be used for urban air mobility services. The all-electric Cora is expected to be able to fly up to around 62 miles at speeds of up to 112 mph.