Wisk Aero, owned by Boeing, entered a financial and technological partnership with Archer Aviation and dropped a lawsuit claiming theft of trade secrets.
Electric aircraft rivals Wisk and Archer Aviation have settled their trade secret legal dispute more than two years after the lawsuit was originally filed.
Boeing, which owns Wisk, invested an undisclosed amount in Archer. Archer said it, in turn, would exclusively use Wisk’s self-flying technology in future aircraft.
Boeing said in a statement that its investment in Archer would “support the potential integration of Wisk’s exclusive right to their autonomy provider.”
Wisk was formed as a joint venture of Boeing and Kitty Hawk, an aviation start-up backed up by Google co-founder Larry Page. Kitty Hawk announced plans to shut down last year, and Boeing announced in May that it had acquired Wisk outright.
In 2021, Wisk sued Archer in federal court, accusing a pair of Archer engineers of stealing proprietary information when they left Wisk. Archer later sued Wisk, accusing it of engaging in a “smear campaign” against Archer.
None of the companies disclosed the size of Boeing’s investment. Still, Archer said it was part of $215 million that it had recently raised from Stellantis, the automaker whose brands include Chrysler, Fiat, Jeep, and Maserati; United Airlines; and Other Financial institutions. Including that amount, Archer has raised more than $1.1 billion to date.
The company plans to start commercial operations in 2025, pending F.A.A. approval. Last month, Archer announced an agreement to deliver up to six of its aircraft to the airforce.
The F.A.A. has said it is working towards supporting a thriving air taxi market by 2028, though limited commercial operations may start sooner