Engineers at Wisk have resumed flight testing the the all-electric, self-flying air taxi Cora in both the US and in New Zealand after a break because of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The flight tests will evaluate the performance of the aircraft in a real world environment, while collecting data that will help inform the further development, operation, safety features and certification of the aircraft.
Gary Gysin, CEO of Wisk said, “We are excited to resume test flights following a brief pause due to Covid-19. The team’s dedication over the past few months has allowed us to remain focused on critical non-flight areas, such as certification, software development, and operations. This has allowed us to maintain momentum during this unique time. But it’s awesome to be flying again.”
Flight tests had been temporarily paused due to shelter-in-place restrictions resulting from the Coronavirus pandemic. Prior to the pandemic, the company had completed more than 1300 test flights expanding the flight envelope, providing data for model, design, and requirements updates, and maturing procedures to operate the aircraft safely and efficiently.
Carl Engel, Wisk’s director of flight test said, “Our first priority has always been safety, both for our employees and in the development of our aircraft. “As we return to flight testing, we have implemented a number of procedures and social distancing measures based on best practices and recommendations from local and national health and government organizations.”
Cora is a two-seater aircraft with a top speed of 110mph (180km/h) and a range of 62 miles (100km). It operates at altitudes between 500ft and 3000ft above ground level and uses 12 lift fans to take off and land. It uses a single propeller for fixed wing, forward flight.