Zeva Aero, the previous creator of a disc-shaped personal eVTOL aircraft, has announced that it is now developing an aircraft on a pre-exisiting airframe in order to achieve the most efficient path to commercialization.
Zeva’s new aircraft, named the Argon, is based on a traditional fixed-wing Cessna 162 Skycatcher airframe. To convert the airframe to an eVTOL, Zeva will add supports that host vertical lift propellers to the tops of the wings, which will allow for electrically-powered take-off and landing.
With the vertical lift modifications to the aircraft, it is expected to have a 140mph cruise speed and a range of 330 nautical miles, with full electric vertical take-off and landing capability.
By using the pre-existing airframe rather than creating an entirely new aircraft, Zeva hopes to significantly reduce the time it will take to achieve aircraft certification as well the time it will take to reach the buyer market. The company plans to initially offer the Argon as an Experimental Amateur-Built kit, which it states represents almost 10% of the light aircraft fleet.
Zeva also hopes to maximize flight range while minimizing manufacturing, operational, and maintenance costs. The proven airframe should also provide increased safety as well as consumer confidence in the aircraft.
Although Zeva will now additionally focus on creating the Argon, development will continue on its other aircraft, the Z20. The Z20 has a disc shape, and uniquely, will use its own body shape in order to provide lift in forward flight. Zeva began prototype tests of this aircraft in 2022.
Through their products, Zeva hopes to capture the demand for private-ownership eVTOLs. Learn more about the aircraft on Zeva’s webite.
Why it’s important: This new product by Zeva indicates the company’s intentions to reach the market as soon as possible. By combining a proven and pre-certified airframe with new electric-lift capabilities, the company can provide a unique product that can reach buyers sooner rather than later. Additionally, by offering this aircraft as a kit, the company can save on manufacturing and delivery costs, while still providing an innovative eVTOL product to lead the market.
Source // Zeva Aero