A US company plans to test-fly Cora, its two-passenger all-electric vertical take-off and landing aircraft, in New Zealand working closely with the Civil Aviation Authority and the NZ Airways Corporation. Wisk is moving forward with its plans, integrating Boeing subsidiary Inset Pacific Pty Ltd, an unmanned aerial systems developer into the programme.
A statement from Anna Kominik, Asia Pacific director for Wisk says NZ
“ … presents a unique opportunity and we are immensely proud to have been recognised by the New Zealand Government as the first airspace integration industry partner. New Zealand’s focus on decarbonising its economy as part of the electric transport evolution directly aligns with Wisk’s mission to deliver safe, everyday flight for everyone through effective, accessible and sustainable urban air mobility solutions.”
The transport trial is part of the government’s Airspace Integration Trial Program (AITP) to test and demonstrate the integration of unmanned aircraft into airspace. Wisk will be performing flight testing, simulation work and data analysis alongside multiple government agencies and New Zealand’s Airways Corporation, a representative from the company told Avionics International.
Gary Gysin, CEO of Wisk, says the company has always seen the distinct advantages of NZ, including the country’s globally respected Civil Aviation Authority and flexibility for Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS).
“These factors, combined with the advantages of testing and operating in a relatively un-congested airspace and the innovative culture of early adoption, makes New Zealand uniquely positioned as a leader for autonomous unmanned aircraft integration trials.”
The first phase of the Transport Trial will focus on collecting and understanding data to support integrating these aircraft into the airspace system, according to the representative.
The aim of the trial is to safely evaluate, test and demonstrate the integration of unmanned aircraft into existing airspace. The goal is to provide robust data that can be used by governments, air traffic control authorities and civil aviation authorities to advance standards globally.
It has an experimental airworthiness certificate from the NZ Civil Aviation Authority and the US Federal Aviation Administration. Several designs have been developed but the company but will not say which would be used in NZ.
The Transport Trial’s goal is to advance autonomous passenger transport in NZ along with cargo delivery, agricultural services and hazard management and monitoring services.