ZEVA Completes First Untethered Test Flight Of Its Weird-looking eVTOL Aircraft
ZEVA Aero has successfully completed its first autonomous, powered and controlled flight test for its full-scale ZEVA ZERO flying wing airframe using its eight zero-emission electric motor propellers.
The uncrewed ZEVA demonstration aircraft performed four flights, totaling more than four flights, totaling more than four minutes of controlled hovering, simulated taxiing maneuvers at slow speeds, and limited vertical climb maneuvers. The major milestone for the Tacoma-based startup was captured in new video in rural Pierce County, Wash., on Sunday, January 9, 2022, as part of its rigorous testing program to achieve FAA airworthiness certification .
ZEVA ZERO is shaped like a large carbon fiber disc that measures 8 feet (2.4 meters) in diameter and weighs 317 kg gross. The aircraft’s compact airframe is designed for a single pilot and is small enough to fit in a standard automobile parking space. The vehicle is expected to travel at speeds of up to 160 mph (257 km/h) with a range of up to 50 miles (80 km), optimizing point-to-point travel.
ZEVA has experienced phenomenal growth this year and has completed more than 550 successful tethered flights, the ZEVA ZERO aircraft showcased at the Dubai Airshow in November.
“The ZEVA team has done an incredible job with the design and manufacture of this aircraft which was highlighted in this exceptionally smooth and successful first flight,” said Gus Meyer, the test pilot controlling the ZERO via a remote radio link. “This achievement is also a testament to the extraordinary talent and experience of the team and the supportive partnerships that helped make this a reality.”
For now, ZERO Aero plans to continue hover testing and transition to transition flight testing this spring to refine the aircraft design’s unique Superman-like trajectory. The patent-pending design is expected to be available for pre-order to consumers for a $5,000 deposit as early as spring of this year, with an eventual price for early production units estimated at less than $250,000.