Wisk Aero, a maker of light urban aircraft, has sued Archer, believing that a competitor had trade secrets from former employees. The FlightGlobal portal writes about this .
The claim was filed by the American company Wisk in the California District Court on Tuesday, April 6. The aircraft designers are confident that rival company Archer used their proprietary technologies without permission.
In 2020, Archer presented a project for a four-seater aircraft with an electric motor. This aircraft with a vertical take-off and landing capability can be used for short-distance flights (up to 96 km), reaching speeds of up to 240 km / h. Archer has also released a graphic representation of the concept of its aircraft: it will be a machine with high wings, 12 propellers and a V-shaped tail unit.
According to the statement of claim, the Archer’s design is likely to be a copy of the design that Wisk received a patent from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office in early 2020.
In February 2021, Archer announced that it was going to go public, saying that United Airlines had pledged to purchase 200 aircraft from it, which are still in development. By the end of this year, Archer intends to present a prototype of the future aircraft. In 2023, it is planned to start serial production, and in 2024 to start regular flights. However, Wisk says that it is impossible to create an aircraft of the original design, carry out all the necessary tests and certify it with the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) in such a short time.
In the documents filed by the plaintiffs, it is noted that Archer has recruited 10 former Wisk engineers. One of these specialists secretly uploaded thousands of documents containing confidential information shortly before applying to leave the company. These documents, in particular, contained confidential information about the design of the aircraft and its on-board systems, as well as information about the tests, the statement says.
At the same time, Archer denies all charges brought by competitors and intends to vigorously defend itself in court.
Wisk is currently developing the sixth generation of a prototype for its upcoming Cora, a two-passenger aircraft. The manufacturer plans to start the first test flights during 2021 in New Zealand.