A sub-scale prototype of the Zeva Zero has taken to the skies.
The prototype, which was flown outside of Tacoma, WA, where the Zeva team is based earned the company a Phase II spot in Boeing’s GoFly Competition. CFD analysis of the sub-scale model show that the full-scale prototype will fly at speeds approaching 160mph.
The Zeva Zero takes off and lands vertically, and transitions to forward flight by slowly decreasing angle of attack and increasing airspeed until the body of the aircraft creates enough lift for forward flight. The Zeva Zero will be flown during the October 2019 fly-off in the Boeing GoFly competition, and will be competing for the $1 million purse.
The Zero is a personal air vehicle, or PAV – which means that it is not intended for large scale commercial operations, but rather as a device for personal mobility. A number of other teams and universities are competing in the Boeing GoFly competition, with a total of 10 companies winning Phase I of the competition. Zeva is currently sponsored by the ANSYS Startup Program and has selected an all-electric design for their contest entry.
Additionally, the Zero’s intended size may be an advantage of the craft: two can fit into a standard one-car garage, making them significantly smaller than the majority of eVTOLs that are intended to transport larger numbers of passengers.
Why it’s important: Zeva’s Zero aircraft adopts an unconventional approach to vertical takeoff and landing aircraft configurations – much like the Vought V-173 flying pancake, the aircraft uses a semi-circular body for lift generation – but unlike the V-173 is completely vertical during takeoff and landing. While it can only carry a single passenger, the goal of Zeva is not commercialization of eVTOL transport, but rather sharing the excitement of flight with the world.