Wisk Flies Autonomous eVTOL From California Airport

Wisk’s Cora fifth-generation demonstrator has made a series of autonomous flights at Long Beach Airport.

Credit: Wisk Aero

Wisk Aero has begun conducting test flights of its autonomous air taxi out of Long Beach Airport, California, which the Boeing subsidiary believes is the first time an electric-vertical-takeoff-and-landing (eVTOL) vehicle has flown in Los Angeles.

The flights involve Wisk’s fifth-generation Cora demonstrator.

“This is part of our flight operations program and marks the third and largest/busiest commercial airport outside of our regular testing facilities at which we’ve flown,” Wisk says.

In addition to its test base at Hollister, California, the self-flying Cora has been operated from San Luis Obispo County Regional Airport, also in Southern California, and Wittman Regional Airport in Wisconsin during the Experimental Aircraft Association’s AirVenture Oshskosh 2023 show.

“The purpose of the [Long Beach] flights is to capture learnings about conducting autonomous operations at a major commercial airport. We completed multiple flights last week—including multiple full-transition flights—which all took place on airport,” Wisk says.

In February 2022, Wisk linked up with the city of Long Beach through its Long Beach Economic Partnership to create an advanced air mobility (AAM) working group composed of business, local government and community leaders focused on evaluating, planning, and implementing autonomous AAM in the city.

Over the initial two-year term of the agreement, the working group is examining four key areas. They are an analysis of the economic impact and workforce development, community acceptance and integration of autonomous AAM into city transportation plans, and federal and state funding opportunities.

Graham Warwick

Graham leads Aviation Week's coverage of technology, focusing on engineering and technology across the aerospace industry, with a special focus on identifying technologies of strategic importance to aviation, aerospace and defense.