Wisk to fly up to 30 eVTOLs for Blade UAM routes
Blade Urban Air Mobility, Inc. and Wisk Aero LLC have 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.
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.
“We look forward to working with Wisk to help accelerate Blade’s transition from conventional rotorcraft to safe, quiet, emission-free Electric Vertical Aircraft,” said Rob Wiesenthal, CEO of Blade.
“This arrangement validates that UAM is the future of mobility,” said Gary Gysin, CEO of Wisk. “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.”
“The Wisk-Blade arrangement is a perfect fit for our asset light model,” said Will Heyburn, CFO and Head of Corporate Development for Blade. “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.
Blade is a technology-powered urban air mobility platform committed to reducing travel friction by providing cost-effective air transportation alternatives to some of the most congested ground routes in the U.S. and abroad. Today, the company predominantly uses helicopters and amphibious aircraft. Its asset-light model, coupled with its exclusive passenger terminal infrastructure, is designed to facilitate a seamless transition to Electric Vertical Aircraft (“EVA” or “eVTOL”), enabling lower cost air mobility to the public that is both quiet and zero emissions.
On December 15, 2020, Blade announced it would become a public company through a merger with a special purpose acquisition company, Experience Investment Corp. (NASDAQ: EXPC). Closing of the merger is subject to approval by the stockholders of both Blade and Experience Investment Corp. and the satisfaction or waiver of certain other conditions.
For more information, visit blade.com/investors.
Wisk is an urban air mobility company dedicated to delivering safe, everyday flight for everyone. Wisk’s self-flying, eVTOL (electric vertical takeoff and landing) air taxi, will make it possible for passengers to skip the traffic and get to their destination faster. Based in the San Francisco Bay Area and New Zealand, Wisk is an independent company backed by The Boeing Company and Kitty Hawk Corporation. With a decade of experience and approximately 1500 test flights, Wisk is shaping the future of daily commutes and urban travel, safely and sustainably.