For some people, the idea of flying almost every day is something that is fairly routine. This is the case not only for pilots, but also for other individuals who fly regularly. Despite the fact that some people do this without scarcely even thinking about it, the idea of flying is anything but realistic for some. This is where California-based Wisk Aero comes in. If you think they are just another aviation company, think again. Below are 20 things you might not know about this innovative and unique aviation company.
1. They have their eye on the future
Wisk Aero is not just about getting a few airplanes together and scheduling flights for the select few individuals that have the money necessary to fly these days. In fact, quite the opposite is true. They are genuinely about revolutionizing the way aviation works in the United States and other countries. To that end, they are constantly on the move, all in an effort to take aviation to the next level for future generations. The one thing they are definitely not interested in doing is simply continuing to do things in the manner as they have always been done. Instead, they are taking things back to the pioneer days of aviation, when everything about the world of flight was new and exciting. This is precisely what they are bringing with them as they move forward.
2. The company is still relatively new
This is not a company that has been in business for decades and is only recently trying to do things that will keep them relevant in the future. The truth is, they have only been in business since 2010. That may seem like a long time, but it is a mere fraction of the time that many other aviation companies have been in business. That said, they have made great strides in their own special brand of aviation in the few short years that they have been in business.
3. They are going places with the stalwarts of aviation
As previously mentioned, they haven’t been in business for all that long. However, they have certainly made up for their lack of years in the business by partnering with aviation giant Boeing. Together with some of their other partners, they have secured the financing they need to continue their research in aviation. The end goal is to make aviation more common for people as opposed to the way it is now, where only a select few have the opportunity to fly with any degree of regularity.
4. They have a vision like none other
There is no doubt about it, the Wisk Aero’s vision is extremely unique. They want to make aviation something that can be easily accessed by every person on the planet, not just an elite few. Their goal is to eventually create aircraft that can be used in much the same way that cars are used today. If they are successful, it would be just as common for someone to walk out their front door and fly to their destination, just as they currently drive there. The end goal is less road congestion and less time spent traveling from one location to another.
5. They’ve already expanded to multiple locations
Even though you could arguably say that the company is still in its infancy, they have already expanded to new locations in Georgia and New Zealand. These locations are in addition to their home base, which is located in California. Many people consider it a sign of early success that they have been able to create enough of a profit to expand multiple locations, even though their vision has not yet been fully realized.
6. They plan to use electric aircraft in their fleet
One thing that the company has been very strict on is that they don't want to increase the carbon footprint of the planet because of their actions. As such, they have always envisioned a fleet of electric aircraft as opposed to the traditional aircraft which utilize avgas or jet fuel in order to get from point A to point B. This is impressive, to say the least. However, it also means that they have to go through a great deal of research and development in order to create a reliable fleet of aircraft that can be used by the general public.
7. Eventually, they want to create a smartphone app for their services
Once they finally have their fleet up and running, the next thing they want to do is create a smartphone app where people can order an air taxi on their phone and then simply wait for it to arrive. Once completed, it is believed that the app will be very similar to those that are currently used by Uber or Lyft. Imagine what it would be like to pull out your smartphone and call a taxi that flies through the air as opposed to scheduling a ride with someone in order to get where you want to go. If Wisk Aero has their way, this will eventually become a reality.
8. With growth, they also have to navigate their way through challenges
Of course, forging an entirely new way of traveling doesn't exactly come easily. As the company grows and they get closer to achieving their vision, they also have to find a way to navigate their way through the challenges that naturally come with creating a form of transportation that doesn't currently exist. For starters, they have to sort out how many bases they will have and where those bases will be located. Other issues such as finding places where these aircraft can land and take off must also be considered. While they still have a long way to go, they are tackling these issues as they approach them with the intention of finding solutions to these challenges as opposed to allowing the obstacles to stop them from achieving their goals.
9. The company isn’t alone in its desire to bring aviation to the masses
When you hear something about a company that wants to bring flying taxis to the general public, you might think that this is the brainchild of one or two individuals. The truth is, there are other companies out there that are working to do something similar. Wisk Aero is not standing all alone in this environment. However, they probably are the ones that are most well-known, as they have arguably gained the most notoriety for their efforts. It doesn't hurt that they also have the partnership with Boeing as they work to bring air taxis into the mainstream.
10. However, they do have something that makes his company stand out
If there are other companies out there that are trying to do the same thing, what is it about Wisk Arrow that makes them so special? As it turns out, there is one thing that really does make them stand head-and-shoulders above the competition, provided they can pull it off successfully. While everyone else that is in this arena is talking about providing air taxis that are piloted by individuals, Wisk Aero is planning to make fully autonomous aircraft that are controlled by computers. That's right, Wisk Aero does not plan to have pilot's in their aircraft. For some people, this is the wave of the future. For others, the very idea of getting in an aircraft that has no pilot is absolutely terrifying.
11. Of course, safety is always a concern
Of course, the company has put a great deal of thought into ensuring the safety of those individuals who are trusting enough to eventually use their services. It isn't like the company is simply creating a larger version of a model aircraft that they will then expect people to get into. The same safety concerns and protocols are followed in this arena as in any other form of aviation. In short, the safety of this venture will be fully vetted before the company goes public.
12. It’s all about convincing the public
One thing is certain, the owner of the company, Gary Gysin, is not the least bit concerned about the safety aspect. In fact, he is quite certain that there won't be any problems concerning safety issues. For him, it's all about convincing the public that it's a good idea to get in an air taxi that is pilotless in order to get from one location to another. As such, he spends a good amount of time marketing his ideas to the general public so that when the company is ready to send their fleet out into the mainstream, the people are just as ready to accept it.
13. They are engaged in legal action
Wisk Aero has been around from day one of developing this technology. As such, they have some competitors now that the technology is becoming a little bit more mainstream. They have recently been engaged in legal action against one of those competitors, Archer Aviation. This company, also based in California, seemingly came out of nowhere only last year and has actually surpassed Wisk Aero in many areas of development. Wisk Aero has made the decision to sue them because they feel that they have taken trade secrets and patents from the company in order to create what is essentially the same product under a new company name.
14. The company even hired a forensic investigator
Make no mistake about it, the company is serious about making sure that its patents don't end up in the wrong hands. When they made the decision to sue Archer Aviation, they even hired a forensic investigator to look into the matter. The evidence that was found was somewhat startling. It was discovered that several of their patented designs had been downloaded onto a thumb drive by an employee that then abruptly resigned. As you might have guessed by now, that same employee ended up working at Archer Aviation almost immediately thereafter.
15. There is no mistaking the similarities between Wisk and its biggest rival
One of the things that is so telling in the legal battle between Wisk Aero and Archer Aviation is the fact that the prototypes for their air taxis are almost exactly the same, at least as far as the schematics are concerned. It's even more interesting when you note that none of the other designs from other competing companies are even remotely close to these two designs, which Wisk Aero came up with long before Archer Aviation was even in business.
16. The company is one the move
Surprisingly, it might not be that long before autonomous air taxis become a reality. As a matter of fact, Wisk Aero is planning to begin implementing their fleet of air taxis in certain areas before the year is out. It will be interesting to see how this eventually goes and whether or not it takes hold with the general public.
17. You might see air taxis flying in New Zealand very soon
One of the places where the company is poised to begin flying very soon is New Zealand. In fact, they already have an office there, as previously mentioned. More importantly, they are planning on beginning trials with their autonomous air taxi fleet within the next few months. If things go according to plan, air taxis could be in regular use within the next 12 to 24 months.
18. Even NASA is getting involved
If you think that no one is taking this venture seriously, you would be mistaken. As previously discussed, Boeing decided to partner with Wisk Aero some time ago. If that's not enough to get your attention, even NASA has now decided to get involved. The idea is to help further develop the technology needed for autonomous flight. Moving forward, NASA and Wisk Aero will work hand-in-hand to develop this technology so that both entities can use that and similar technologies in the future.
19. The company is working toward creating air highways
As previously mentioned, there are a lot of things that have to be ironed out when it comes to creating a brand new type of technology. The company is currently working with its partners to smooth out details concerning flight routes, hubs where aircraft can land and take off, and even issues surrounding air traffic control. The idea is to provide a safe and efficient experience for anyone who has the desire to use this technology.
20. Their aircraft can hover
The unique design of their aircraft allows them to hover like helicopters or fly forward like traditional aircraft. Since they're all electric, they're also lightweight. This allows them to get from one location to another in a relatively short amount of time, especially when compared to traveling that same distance in an automobile. What will you do when you have the option to travel by ground or air? It may take a while for this newer technology to catch on, but the possibilities associated with its very existence are practically endless.
Written by Allen Lee
Read more posts by Allen Lee