Founded in April 2018, Zeva Aero has a pioneering design for the Zeva Zero eVTOL. The Zero has a unique flat design, and aims to carry passengers completely door to door.
While not many photos have been released of the Zeva, it features a tilting flight system. It can transition from a hover mode to a horizontal flight mode like other VTOL designs. But in the Zero, the passenger tilts with the wing. The coin-like structure of the Zero improves vertical drag as it rises, and it’s minimalistic approach reduces weight. However, the Zero only carries a single passenger.
The Zero comes with the self dubbed ‘SkyDock’ docking system. SkyDock allows the Zero to park itself on the side of buildings themselves. This would enable passengers to exit the Zero to walk directly into their office or home–almost like a door that can open to anywhere. It eliminates the need for last mile transportation, making the journey from A to B even more efficient.
The Zeva team is still in the design phase, but is looking for $1.5 million in funding. It will produce a prototype for the GoFly competition sponsored by Boeing in October 2019. The GoFly Competion specifically only allows near-VTOL aircraft that can fit an eight-and-a-half foot sphere.
Zeva is led by Steve Tibbitts, Managing Director of Incubator FabLab Tacoma. FabLab provides a workspace and prototyping tools for innovators, artists, and DIY enthusiasts. Previously, Tibbitts worked as a director at Integrated Device Technology Inc, and as a Design Manager at Fox Electronics. The rest of the Zeva team includes electrical and mechanical engineers as well as experts in 3D design, composites, and software.
Why it’s important: As VTOLs become more prevalent many companies will begin to replicate past designs. Especially in a new industry, continual re-iteration is crucial to achieve the best design. Zeva’s unique design and docking system rethinks the utility of existing VTOLS even while they are still in their testing stages.