Electrical Vertical Take-Off and Landing (eVTOL) technology is touted to rapidly change the face of urban air mobility and this wouldn’t be possible without pushing existing infrastructure and technology over their absolute limits.
Wisk Aero-a leading California based eVTOL developer which also happens to be the developer of the first all-electric, self-flying air taxi in the US, is now set to collaborate with Skyports-the world-leading designer, developer, and operator of vertiports. to integrate autonomous, electric, vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aircraft operations at vertiports and other ground-based infrastructure.
Vertiports are enablers of Urban and Advanced Air Mobility (UAM/AAM), facilitating the movement of people and goods more rapidly and efficiently than traditional transport infrastructure.
The Concept of Operations (CONOP) released by the two companies gives an idea of how various autonomous, electric, vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aircraft operations at vertiports and other ground-based infrastructure will be integrated.
We are excited to partner with Skyports, a leader in vertiports and AAM infrastructure. It is critical that future operations are autonomous for safety, scalability, and affordability. With this ConOps, Wisk and Skyports are helping to define those future operations while ensuring the long-term success and full potential of this industry.Gary Gysin, CEO of Wisk Aero
Although the Advanced Air Mobility (AAM) services will commence with piloted aircraft, autonomous operations will soon take over as autonomy is the key to unlocking the scalability, accessibility, and affordability needed to realize the full potential and total addressable market of AAM.
The collaboration between the two companies will evaluate core areas namely-physical aircraft considerations (functions, capabilities, requirements, interfaces, and support), passenger accommodation, schedule management, ground operations management, final approach and take-off management, and navigational aids, situational awareness, contingency management, and airspace design.
It’s important that infrastructure built today can accommodate the aircraft of tomorrow. We are thrilled to be partnered with Wisk as they push the bounds of aircraft systems innovation. The ConOps and our continued work on the development of vehicle-agnostic vertiports and ground-based infrastructure will ensure that this industry is well prepared to safely integrate autonomous operations in the future.Duncan Walker, CEO of Skyports
Apparently, the CONOPs dictate the upgrades, retrofits, and procedure changes required for safe operations of autonomous eVTOL aircraft. Additionally, it also defines the journey of an autonomous eVTOL aircraft and its relationship to UAM-specific, aircraft-agnostic infrastructure and the necessary systems and interactions between the aircraft, the aircraft’s fleet operator, and the vertiport.
Reportedly, Wisk is also currently developing its sixth-generation eVTOL aircraft, backed by Boeing and Kitty Hawk, and hopes to get the model certified by the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).
Meanwhile, U.K.-based Skyports has forged partnerships with various AAM companies around the world, including Los Angeles, Italy, Malaysia and the UK to develop infrastructure for future eVTOL operations.