Boeing Will Close NeXt Innovation Division
Boeing plans to close its NeXt innovation division just over two years since it was launched in 2018.
Boeing NeXt, which is based in St Louis, Missouri, has been working on two eVTOL prototypes—one designated as a Passenger Air Vehicle and another a Cargo Air Vehicle. Through its Wisk joint venture formed in 2019 with Kitty Hawk, it is developing a two-seat eVTOL design called Cora.
The NeXt business unit also includes the SkyGrid joint venture that Boeing launched with SparkCognition in November 2018. This is focused on developing software for air traffic management of autonomous aircraft.
A Boeing spokesperson issued the following written statement in response to questions from AIN about the future of its urban air mobility activities: “Aurora will remain a subsidiary and will continue to be part of NeXt for the remainder of the year. Management is assessing several options regarding when this talented organization can make a meaningful and productive impact. In the meantime, it continues to run its business as usual. Our continued investment in and participation with Wisk is being evaluated and no decisions have been made.” She added that the same situation applies to Boeing’s investment in Aerion.
In June, Wisk announced that it had resumed flight testing of the Cora at its facilities in New Zealand and California. Aurora Flight Sciences has yet to confirm the status of its development of the Passenger Air Vehicle, after a June 2019 accident in which an early prototype was damaged at its facility in Virginia.