LA lands first public eVTOL flight
Los Angeles’ dream of a public air taxi service may not be far off as Long Beach Airport has seen the first successful electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) test flight across the greater LA area.
The aircraft involved was constructed by advanced air mobility (AAM) company Wisk Aero and was launched as part of the airport’s Festival of Flight.
Wisk used its 5th Generation (Cora) autonomous, eVTOL aircraft, demonstrating the safety and reality of autonomous passenger flight.
According to Wisk – which has been tied with Long Beach since its Economic Partnership in 2022 – the test flights provided the opportunity to observe autonomous flight operations in a complex, real-world commercial airport environment, alongside other passenger airline operations.
Brian Yutko, CEO of Wisk, said LA is a target launch city for many in the AAM industry. “And we are extremely proud to be the first air taxi company to fly in LA – and to have done so with an autonomous aircraft,” he said.
Long beach’s mayor Rex Richardson added: “I am proud to see the future of flight becoming a reality in Long Beach. It has been a leader in aviation for decades and those careers helped build and sustain the middle class here for generations.”
The Advanced Air Mobility (AAM) sector is set for take-off. Morgan Stanley Research believes that such aircraft could be common by 2040 projecting a total addressable market of $1.5 trillion.
In China, Chinese eVTOL vehicle maker EHang Holdings has entered into a $100 million partnership with the Hefei Municipal Government to develop the ecosystem for the new breed of electric flying vehicles.
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