Could the George Jetson future of personal flying start with first responders, cargo delivery, and security applications? Although Stephen Tibbitts, CEO & co-founder of ZEVA, envisions a day when his flying wings will provide mobility for the masses, the ZERO’s electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL)capability, 50-mile range, and 160 mph cruising speed could be a boon for specific use-cases in the interim.
For instance, a medical EMT could use a ZEVA ZERO to fly over traffic to an accident site without having to navigate through traffic. The fly-by-wire design lends itself to autonomy, so a ZERO could potentially serve as a flying gurney. Back at the hospital, ZEVA’s SkyDock would provide a unique passage to an emergency room, while providing charging for the ZERO.
ZEVA is an acronym that also states the Tibbet’s vision of Zero Electric Vertical Aircraft. With eight electric motors and propellers and a pancake body that serves as a wing, ZEVA projects that the ZERO will have significantly lower fuel and maintenance costs compared to other transport modes. Additionally, because it is electric, it quieter than traditional aircraft.
They have built and flown a scale model of the ZERO (see their website for a video of it flying). Flight testing of the full-scale ZERO will be a major milestone for ZEVA and will be followed by many hours of flight testing. Perhaps Viodi can film the ZERO in flight at the next GoFly event.
~Author Ken Pyle, Managing Editor