Things to do  |  13 Apr 2021

An all-electric, self-flying air taxi that rises like a helicopter and flies like a plane will be on display at Tūranga this weekend.

Wisk’s air taxi will be on public display in New Zealand for the first time at Take Charge Christchurch. New Zealand’s first battery electric aircraft, operated by ElectricAir, will also be on display at the event.

Organised by Christchurch City Council, Take Charge Christchurch is being held on the ground floor of Tūranga on 17 and 18 April to showcase how emerging battery electric aircraft technologies could change the future of aviation and mobility.

There will be two public presentations – at 11am and 1pm on Saturday 17 April – where people can hear from Wisk NZ and Christchurch-based ElectricAir about how their zero exhaust emission aircraft could change the way we travel.

All those who attend the Saturday presentations can go into a draw to win a free flight in ElectricAir’s battery electric aircraft. There will be one draw per presentation.

“As well as viewing these exciting innovative zero exhaust emission aircraft there is a chance for people at the presentations to hear first-hand about these aircraft and the contribution they will make to reducing greenhouse gas emissions, ’’ says Christchurch City Council Resource Efficiency Manager Kevin Crutchley.

“These new battery electric aircraft are pioneering an entirely new way to fly. We’re pleased to be giving the public a chance to see what the future of travel might look like at Take Charge Christchurch,’’ Mr Crutchley says.

While there will be no public presentations on Sunday, Wisk’s air taxi will remain on display. Wisk's all-electric air taxi first took to the skies in 2017.  Because the aircraft rises and lands like a helicopter, it will remove the need for runways and allow people to land closer to where they need to be.

Asia Pacific Region Director for Wisk, Anna Kominik, says: "We are excited to be sharing Wisk's air taxi with the city of Christchurch and looking forward to people seeing it up close. This aircraft has spent a lot of time flight testing over the Mackenzie Basin, and we think it's befitting that her first public display is a feature of the Take Charge Christchurch event.

"At Wisk we think urban air mobility solutions, such as our all-electric, self-flying air taxi, represent an exciting evolution in transport and will change the way we get around - a way that saves you time, offers you comfort, and is kinder to the planet."

ElectricAir founder Gary Freedman says its two seater battery electric plane that it will have on display has no exhaust emissions and is 70 per cent quieter than conventional planes.

“Displaying it outside Tūranga, in the heart of Christchurch, is an ideal opportunity to showcase this type of technology to Christchurch residents,’’ Mr Freedman says.

Take Charge Christchurch is open from 10am to 4pm on Saturday at Tūranga. Wisk’s air taxi will remain on display on Sunday during Tūranga’s opening hours.