Wisk becomes fully-owned Boeing subsidiary
Wisk has become a fully-owned subsidiary of Boeing announced CEO Brian Yutko at a Boeing media event on Wednesday.
The move means Boeing has now furthered its long-time strategic investment in Wisk by becoming the single shareholder. It also means that the role of co-founder and part shareholder, Kitty Hawk has come to and end. Kitty Hawk’s sale of its stake for an undisclosed amount follows its decision last year to stop work and gradually wind down the operation. Since then, it has existed really only as a Wisk investor. Boeing and Kitty Hawk originally launched Wisk in 2019.
Yutko said Wisk has been working “hand-in-hand” with Boeing in developing its eVTOL for nearly half a decade. In January, the aviation giant invested a further $450m in Wisk to help fund further development and FAA certification of its sixth generation aircraft – which was unveiled last year. However, the acquisition of Kitty Hawk’s share by Boeing does not mean Wisk will benefit from any more large capital injections in the near future. There has been an increase in information exchange, with Boeing providing manufacturing experience and Wisk offering insight on vertical electric aircraft technology.
Boeing investments in future aviation technology have not always been successful. Boeing stopped funding the now defunct supersonic business aircraft developer Aerion in 2021. Boeing’s venture arm invested in the startup Zunum Aero in 2017, which has also now shut down. The Wisk acquisition is the first time Boeing has bought a wholly passenger-focused OEM since its merged with McDonnell Douglas in 1997.