AVIATION TECHNOLOGY

Wisk Aero Secures $450 Million from The Boeing Company to Advance Certified Autonomous Electric Flight

WISK | January 25, 2022

Boeing News
Wisk, a leading Advanced Air Mobility (AAM) company and developer of the first all-electric, self-flying air taxi in the U.S., has secured $450 million in funding from The Boeing Company, making it one of the most well-funded AAM companies in the world. Combined with previous funding, this investment reinforces Wisk’s strong position as a privately-backed AAM leader and highlights the strength of Wisk’s strategic partnership with Boeing and their collaboration on critical technology development.

This investment will further advance the development of Wisk’s 6th generation eVTOL aircraft, a first-ever candidate for certification of an autonomous, all-electric, passenger-carrying aircraft in the U.S. The funding will also support the company as it enters an intensive growth phase over the next year, its preparations for the launch of scale manufacturing, and the company’s Go-to-Market efforts.

Within five years following the certification of its 6th generation aircraft, Wisk intends to operate one of the industry’s largest fleets of AAM eVTOL aircraft. The scale of this fleet is enabled by the company’s autonomous technology, a competitive differentiator and industry-recognized key to scaling services and maximizing safety. In this timeframe, Wisk anticipates close to 14M annual flights bringing time savings to over 40 million people across 20 cities – all with zero emissions.

“Wisk is extremely well-positioned to deliver on our long-term strategy and commitment to safe, everyday flight for everyone. We are incredibly fortunate to have Boeing as not only an investor but a strategic partner, which provides us with access to a breadth of resources, industry-leading expertise, a global reach, extensive certification experience, and more. As we enter this next stage of our growth, this additional funding provides us with capital while allowing us to remain focused on our core business and our number one priority, safety.”

- Gary Gysin, CEO of Wisk

"With this investment, we are reconfirming our belief in Wisk’s business and the importance of their work in pioneering all-electric, AI-driven, autonomous capability for the aerospace industry. Autonomy is the key to unlocking scale across all AAM applications, from passenger to cargo and beyond. That’s why straight-to-autonomy is a core first principle. Boeing and Wisk have been at the forefront of AAM innovation for more than a decade, and will continue to lead in the years ahead.”

- Marc Allen, Chief Strategy Officer of Boeing

With its deep expertise in autonomous, electric flight, its extensive flight test history, key knowledge and insights from the development of five generations of aircraft, and the strength of its partnerships, Wisk is positioned to maintain its leadership in the AAM and broader mobility space.

Wisk began in 2010 as Zee Aero, with a mission to deliver safe, everyday flight for everyone, and later merged with Kitty Hawk Corporation. Upon recognizing the commercial potential of Wisk’s 5th generation aircraft, the aircraft and team were spun out to form Wisk, with an investment from The Boeing Company. Over the past decade, Wisk has achieved a number of aviation and industry firsts, most notably, the first flight of an all-electric, autonomous, eVTOL aircraft designed for passenger use, in the U.S.

Previous undisclosed funding rounds were led by The Boeing Company and Kitty Hawk Corporation, through a joint venture, making Wisk one of the only AAM companies to be backed by two aviation leaders. Kitty Hawk remains an investor and has supported the development of Wisk’s previous generations of aircraft.

ABOUT WISK
Wisk is an advanced air mobility (AAM) 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 over a decade of experience and over 1500 test flights, Wisk is shaping the future of daily commutes and urban travel, safely and sustainably.

Spotlight

Delta's pre-tax income for the December 2014 quarter was $1.0 billion, excluding special items1, an increase of $474 million over the December 2013 quarter on a similar basis. Delta's net income for the December 2014 quarter was $649 million, or $0.78 per diluted share, and its operating margin was 12.6 percent, excluding special items. For the full year 2014, Delta's pre-tax income, excluding special items, was $4.5 billion, a $1.9 billion increase over 2013. Delta's net income for the year was $2.8 billion with an operating margin of 13.1 percent, excluding special items.


Other News
AIR TRANSPORT, BUSINESS AVIATION

American Airlines Announces Agreement to Purchase Boom Supersonic Overture Aircraft, Places Deposit on 20 Overtures

AMERICAN AIRLINES | August 18, 2022

American Airlines and Boom Supersonic today announced the airline's agreement to purchase up to 20 Overture aircraft, with an option for an additional 40. American has paid a non-refundable deposit on the initial 20 aircraft. Overture is expected to carry passengers at twice the speed of today's fastest commercial aircraft. Boom Supersonic's Overture would introduce an important new speed advantage to American's fleet, which is currently the simplest, youngest and most efficient among U.S. network carriers. Under the terms of the agreement, Boom must meet industry-standard operating, performance and safety requirements as well as American's other customary conditions before delivery of any Overtures. "Looking to the future, supersonic travel will be an important part of our ability to deliver for our customers, We are excited about how Boom will shape the future of travel both for our company and our customers." Derek Kerr, American's Chief Financial Officer. Overture is being designed to carry 65 to 80 passengers at Mach 1.7 over water — or twice the speed of today's fastest commercial aircraft — with a range of 4,250 nautical miles. Optimized for speed, safety and sustainability, Overture is also being designed to fly more than 600 routes around the world in as little as half the time. Flying from Miami to London in just under five hours and Los Angeles to Honolulu in three hours are among the many possibilities. "We are proud to share our vision of a more connected and sustainable world with American Airlines," said Blake Scholl, Founder and CEO of Boom. "We believe Overture can help American deepen its competitive advantage on network, loyalty and overall airline preference through the paradigm-changing benefits of cutting travel times in half." In July, Boom revealed the final production design of Overture, which is slated to roll out in 2025 and carry its first passengers by 2029. About American Airlines Group To Care for People on Life's Journey®. Shares of American Airlines Group Inc. trade on Nasdaq under the ticker symbol AAL and the company's stock is included in the S&P 500. About Boom Supersonic Boom Supersonic is transforming air travel with Overture, the world's fastest airliner, optimized for speed, safety, and sustainability. Serving both civil and government markets, Overture will fly at twice the speed of today's airliners and is designed to run on 100% sustainable aviation fuel (SAF). Overture's order book, including purchases and options from American Airlines, United Airlines, and Japan Airlines stands at 130 aircraft. Boom is working with Northrop Grumman for government and defense applications of Overture. Suppliers and partners collaborating with Boom on the Overture program include Collins Aerospace, Eaton, Safran Landing Systems, Rolls-Royce, the United States Air Force, American Express, Climeworks, and AWS

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DEFENSE AND SPACE

Kennon Announces Portable Magnetic Aircraft Covers for Military Fighter Jets

Kennon | September 06, 2022

As the US military continues to look for ways to increase mission flexibility and protect its pilots and aircraft, industry pioneer Kennon Products is unveiling its innovative Portable Magnetic Aircraft Covers (PMAC). The entire PMAC line provides superior protection in a highly portable format. Today's modern fighter jets — the F-22 and F-35 — are high precision, state-of-the-art flying computers susceptible to Foreign Object Debris (FOD). FOD can come from nature — birds, rodents, blowing dust, rain, and snow. It can also come from human error. Such was the case in May 2020, when an F-22 crashed near Eglin Air Force Base in Florida. Investigators determined the event resulted from human error — a piece of tape was left on the aircraft after servicing. The piece of tape impacted a flight control sensor and caused the pilot to eject (safely). However, the $200M+ F-22 jet was lost. Kennon's covers protect aircraft, ease maintenance, and reduce deadly accidents by providing coverage that prevents FOD intrusion. They also reduce the need for tape. "The best covers are the ones you have with you and the ones you use. Our PMAC covers are easier to see and remove; plus, they stow on board the aircraft," Kennon CEO Joe Wright. Unlike standard covers, Kennon's PMAC line of products can be folded and packed into a small compartment on the aircraft. This portability enhances mission flexibility and reduces the logistical footprint of moving traditional bulky covers and plugs from location to location. Because the covers stay with the aircraft, regardless of where it lands, crews can cover up the various intakes, exhausts, and ports. The jet will never be apart from its protective covers. Kennon can also print on the covers, including a squadron's graphics, tastefully displayed when the jets are parked. The PMAC covers use various advanced composite materials and seals to withstand repeated washings and environmental exposure, including winds up to 70 mph. Kennon's covers protect the fighter jet canopies during maintenance without touching sensitive surfaces. Kennon designed the F-22 Alpha Cover for line-to-line fitment. Made from UV-resistant polyurethane, the cover seals the probe from the elements without damaging fifth-generation LO (low observable) coatings. The fit is secure, even during extreme weather. Kennon's PMAC line was born from a prototype first designed by Retired Air Force Technical Sergeant Daniel Caban, who witnessed the logistical challenges of transporting the complete set of plugs and covers that must go with each aircraft. Caban's prototype, featured in the Air Force's Spark Tank competition, prompted AFWERX, the Air Force's technology accelerator group, to award Kennon several contracts. The initial award was to develop, manufacture, and commercialize the PMAC product line. Kennon has received additional contracts from the US Air Force that address other PMAC products, including multi-purpose wash covers and an advanced canopy protection system for the F-35 and F-22 are now in development. "These technologies can be applied or scaled to other aircraft platforms, both fixed wing and rotorcraft. American allies worldwide also fly these aircraft, so we know there is a large market for this technology," Wright said. About Kennon Products Founded in 1984, Kennon Products is a leading designer and manufacturer of products that protect people and high-value assets for the military, aviation, and healthcare industries. The company employs more than 60 people at its Sheridan, Wyoming facility. Kennon is an employee-owned ESOP (employee stock ownership program) company. With engineering and manufacturing at its core, Kennon Products says yes to virtually any project whose goal is to protect high-value assets.

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BUSINESS AVIATION

Directional Aviation and Alder Fuels Join Forces for First Business Aviation Offtake Partner Agreement for SAF 2.0

Alder Fuels | September 16, 2022

Today, private aviation investment firm Directional Aviation is making a financial investment in Alder Fuels, a clean tech developer and greencrude producer. As part of the agreement, the two companies also will pilot a pioneering blockchain-powered transparency tool to document the production life cycle and industry adoption of low-carbon SAF. The state-of-the-art tool will assist with transparency around the production of SAF and provide robust documentation for compliance with regulatory programs, environment, social and governance (ESG) targets and carbon reduction milestones for the aviation sector.Alder Fuels uses sustainable biomass, such as regenerative grasses, forest residues and agricultural waste products, to create a low-carbon to carbon-negative greencrude that can be converted into SAF using existing bio and petroleum refinery infrastructure. In contrast to first-generation SAF, which was generated primarily from non-scalable supplies of fats, oils and grease, these biomass sources are abundantly available, and, when repurposed, can contribute to soil regeneration and wildfire mitigation. When calculating the fuel production carbon life cycle from field to wingtip across different biomass sources, AGC-derived SAF can achieve greenhouse gas reductions of over 80 percent compared to petroleum jet fuel. The process, which has been validated by the Department of Energy’s National Renewable Laboratory (NREL), could even be carbon negative when utilizing regenerative crops. AGC-derived SAF will meet current aviation specifications and is currently in the process of global certification as a 100 percent drop-in replacement for petroleum-based jet fuel. As part of the agreement, Flexjet will become the first business aviation user of this SAF. “Our investment in Alder Fuels and partnership on advancing the use of digital technology to document SAF use is an example of private aviation leading the way on sustainability commitments and identifying solutions to reduce carbon emissions that aid the entire aviation industry,” Kenneth C. Ricci, Principal, Directional Aviation. As we make the transition from fossil to sustainable energy throughout our economy, transparency is critical. It is how we engender trust and integrity to strengthen the adoption curve – and that is exactly what we are working towards at Alder Fuels, said Bryan Sherbacow, Chief Executive Officer and President of Alder Fuels. This partnership will demonstrate exactly how fuel is sourced, developed and deployed – from the sustainable biomass provider to the wingtip. We are thrilled to test and trial the technology against our offtake agreement with Flexjet and are incredibly grateful to Directional Aviation for their financial support and industry leadership.4AIR and Alder will align the use of blockchain technology tools to account for all the emission claims from the use of the SAF, generating the necessary records and transparency for compliance with regulatory frameworks, ESG standards and other sustainability commitments. This application of digital technology for the aviation sector has enormous potential. Public blockchains represent a groundbreaking technological platform for documenting supply chains and recording physical asset ownership. They also can be deployed to help verify and validate the supply chain and emissions outputs of renewable fuels. For example, they can enhance the book-and-claim model of SAF use, a practice where a sustainability claim made by a company or customer is separated from the physical flow of these goods. Our goal at 4AIR is to make sustainability as simple and cost-effective as possible in order to promote its growth, said Kennedy Ricci, 4AIR’s president. The use of blockchain technology to transparently and permanently record the use of sustainable aviation fuel is an innovative application that will help users with regulatory and voluntary compliance and provide greater transparency about SAF’s benefits as a way to reduce climate-changing aircraft carbon emissions. Through this partnership between Directional and Alder Fuels, Flexjet will be the first business aviation offtake partner for AGC, advancing Flexjet towards its goal of having 12 percent of its annual fuel consumption come from SAF by 2030. Flexjet has achieved carbon-neutral flight operations for the past two years, purchasing credits to offset emissions from all flights booked by our aircraft Owners worldwide,said Flexjet Chief Executive Officer Michael Silvestro. However, we have wanted to take the next step, not merely offsetting emissions but actually reducing them directly in our operations by taking tangible steps today. The use of SAF produced with Alder’s cutting edge greencrude will help us achieve this goal, maintaining our leadership on aviation sustainability, and the transparency tool developed by Alder Fuels and 4AIR will serve as a real-world proof of concept. Recognizing the scaling up of SAF is critical to meeting such aggressive climate goals, the White House launched the SAF Grand Challenge,with goals of having 3 billion gallons of SAF produced in the U.S. by 2030, augmenting to 35 billion gallons by 2050. The recent passage of the Inflation Reduction Act into law amplifies the U.S. commitment to SAF by providing tax credits for every gallon produced that demonstrates a 50 percent or greater lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions reduction relative to petroleum jet fuel. About Directional Aviation Directional Aviation is a private investment firm whose singular focus is private business aviation. Directional’s OneSky Flight portfolio of private jet travel providers includes shared/fractional jet ownership, jet card, membership, on-demand charter and vertical lift providers. Industry leaders representing MRO, private jet remanufacturing, aviation parts distribution and more also make up the Directional family. Directional Aviation is charting the course of private aviation, worldwide. For more information, visit www.directionalaviation.com. About Alder Fuels Alder Fuels is powering the global clean energy transformation and race to net zero through the conversion of natural biomass into low-carbon to carbon-negative Alder Greencrude (AGC). This greencrude can then be converted into sustainable aviation fuel (SAF), other low-carbon fuels, and chemicals using existing global refinery equipment and infrastructure. Bryan Sherbacow, Alder Fuels President & CEO, has a proven record for the development and commercial deployment of novel technology, including the world’s first refinery designed to produce renewable jet and military-grade fuels. Alder Fuels is backed by Honeywell UOP, United Ventures, AvFuel, and Boeing and its technology has been validated by the U.S. Defense Logistics Agency, the Department of Energy (DOE), and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL). For more information, visit http://www.alderfuels.com/. About 4AIR 4AIR is an industry pioneer offering sustainability solutions beyond just simple carbon neutrality. Its industry-first framework seeks to address climate impacts of all types and provides a simplified and verifiable path for private aviation industry participants to achieve meaningful aircraft emissions counteraction and reduction. The 4AIR framework offers four levels, each with specific, science-based goals, independently verified results and progressively greater impacts on sustainability that make it easy for private aviation users to pursue sustainability through access to carbon markets, use of Sustainable Aviation Fuel, support for new technologies and other strategies

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DEFENSE AND SPACE, COMMERCIAL AVIATION

Starburst Ventures Launches New Pre-Seed & Seed Fund Focusing on Aerospace & Defense Innovation

Starburst Ventures | September 22, 2022

Starburst Ventures, the first venture capital fund dedicated to investing across aviation, space, and defense, today announced the launch of its new early-stage fund. Focusing on aerospace, defense, security, as well as enabling sciences and technologies, Starburst Ventures is investing in the next generation of industrial, software and hardware companies.The fund's team will be led by Starburst Ventures' Founder and General Partner, François Chopard. A widely respected industry veteran, Francois founded Starburst in 2012, before A&D became the venture investment category it is today. François is joined by Benjamin Zeitoun as Investor. Together they hold a significant track record of securing investment and building startups from the early stage to IPO. Joining them in an advisory capacity is Jacqueline Tame, startup founder and former Deputy Director of the United States Department of Defense Joint Artificial Intelligence Center, and Natalya Bailey, Head of Strategy at Bloom Energy and former founder of Accion Systems, who was named top 15 most influential women in Space per Business Insider. Both will serve as hands-on advisors to provide unrivaled support in selecting investments and developing Starburst Ventures' portfolio companies. "The Starburst Ventures fund will be an imperative resource in developing the next generation of aerospace & defense companies,Having the opportunity to lead and oversee something so impactful is a true honor. I look forward to working with some of the brightest minds across aerospace innovation and business development." François Chopard, General Partner at Starburst Ventures Starburst Ventures' existing investments include participation in a recent $7.1 million seed round for Outpost, a sustainable satellite & Earth return company founded by Jason Dunn and Mike Vergalla, and backed by Moonshot Ventures & Draper Associates, as well as Strong Compute, a startup that recently completed its $7.8 million seed round and helps developers speed up machine learning training pipelines. Strong Compute is led by Ben Sand and backed by prolific investors including Sequoia Capital India, Folklore, Blackbird; and Skip Capital (led by Principal Kim Jackson). Other investments include companies wishing to stay under the radar, working on mapping the 27,000+ objects jamming Earth orbit to pave the way for space infrastructure, Open Source Intelligence platforms, and a revolutionary optical sensing payload. All five of these companies are at the cutting edge of aerospace innovation. We're excited that our thesis drives our investment in both deeptech and tech companies that have the potential to make a real impact in our sector and beyond,said Benjamin Zeitoun, Investor, Starburst Ventures. The Starburst Ventures fund's portfolio is a reflection of its leadership's unique ability to imagine the next wave of innovation in space, aviation, and defense systems. Starburst Ventures is an independent US venture capital firm owned by its General Partners with a deep commitment to building the future of aerospace and defense. About Starburst Ventures Starburst Ventures is the first venture capital fund exclusively dedicated to investing across aviation, space, and defense to build the future of Aerospace & Defense. The team is made up of Aerospace & Defense specialists, former founders, and accelerator operators who are on a mission to help early-stage founders accelerate their business development efforts across government & industry. About Starburst Starburst is an innovation catalyst in the aerospace industry. They are the first and only global aerospace accelerator, connecting startups with corporates, investors and government, while providing strategic growth and investment consulting services for all. With offices in Los Angeles, Paris, Munich, Singapore, Seoul, Tel Aviv, and Madrid, the team has built an ecosystem of key players with 15000+ of startups in its network. Starburst's accelerator program helps startups scale their business in aviation, space, and defense with access to the largest group of corporate stakeholders to help startups win their first contracts.

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Spotlight

Delta's pre-tax income for the December 2014 quarter was $1.0 billion, excluding special items1, an increase of $474 million over the December 2013 quarter on a similar basis. Delta's net income for the December 2014 quarter was $649 million, or $0.78 per diluted share, and its operating margin was 12.6 percent, excluding special items. For the full year 2014, Delta's pre-tax income, excluding special items, was $4.5 billion, a $1.9 billion increase over 2013. Delta's net income for the year was $2.8 billion with an operating margin of 13.1 percent, excluding special items.

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