by Future Transport-News
05 May 2021
Wisk to Provide and Operate up to 30 Electric Vertical Aircraft for Key Blade Urban Air Mobility Routes
Blade Urban Air Mobility, Inc. and Wisk Aero LLC today announced an arrangement for Wisk to provide Blade with up to 30 Electric Vertical Aircraft (“EVA” or “eVTOL”).
Wisk is an Urban Air Mobility (“UAM”) company dedicated to delivering safe, everyday flight for everyone and is the company behind the first all-electric, autonomous eVTOL aircraft in the U.S. Following FAA certification, Blade and Wisk intend to deploy the aircraft on short-distance routes between Blade’s network of dedicated terminals throughout the U.S., with Wisk aircraft being chartered by Blade at an hourly rate on those routes. Wisk will be compensated based on Blade flight time utilized on the aircraft, which will be owned, operated, and maintained by Wisk for Blade’s use. Blade expects to leverage its existing flight volumes to provide minimum flight hour guarantees to Wisk. Wisk’s deployment of its aircraft on Blade routes is subject to the parties entering into definitive agreements.
“This arrangement validates that UAM is the future of mobility. To date, we have been focused on developing an aircraft and customer experience that is efficient, accessible, and — most importantly — safe. The combination of our expertise as an autonomous eVTOL aircraft manufacturer and operator, with the operational expertise of Blade, will help usher in an even greater level of safety and service.”
Blade and Wisk will also form a working group to assist in the deployment of technologies necessary for aircraft charging and next-generation air traffic management. The working group will also leverage Blade’s six years of experience with UAM services in the most congested markets to inform future Wisk design principles. Wisk currently operates autonomous eVTOL aircraft pursuant to experimental type certificates and plans to begin initial test flights in Blade’s key service areas when possible.
“The Wisk-Blade arrangement is a perfect fit for our asset light model. Backed by Boeing’s deep aerospace experience, Wisk will own, operate and maintain their aircraft as part of our network, allowing Blade to focus on delivering a great experience to our fliers.”
Blade and Wisk are both committed to an open-network approach to Urban Air Mobility. Wisk intends to provide aircraft to multiple customer-facing platforms while Blade expects to utilize a variety of EVA, based on mission requirements, and recently announced that it secured 20 piloted EVA from a third-party manufacturer, scheduled for deployment starting in late 2024.
“We look forward to working with Wisk to help accelerate Blade’s transition from conventional rotorcraft to safe, quiet, emission-free Electric Vertical Aircraft.”
This article was originally published by Wisk Aero LLC.
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