Zeva Aero is developing the distinctive, disc-shaped Zero eVTOL. It is intended to operate in conjunction with the company's SkyDock unit that would allow it to be parked and accessed on the sides of buildings.
Zeva (which stands for Zero Emissions-Electric Vertical Aircraft) was exhibiting as part of the Washington State stand in the U.S. Pavilion of the Dubai Airshow in 2019. There, CEO Stephen Tibbitts told FutureFlight that a full-scale version of the craft had started flight testing. He said the all-electric Zero would ultimately fly at up to 160 mph and have a 50-mile range, doubling within 10 years. Tibbitts said the craft is being flown "with a dummy right now," but with a human on board the aircraft will include a whole-vehicle parachute. Also, the craft is tethered for its initial flight tests. "We need to get a few more tethered tests under our belt first," said Tibbitts.
He also said that the company "would love to have a partner, both for manufacture and for funding," but his focus at present is "to finish our application for NASA's Grand Challenge."
The price of the Zero is currently pegged at $225,000, and Tibbitts said the company is accepting $5,000 deposits from interested buyers.
Tibbitts said his interest in eVTOLs started in 2004 when he flew a Cessna 172 but discovered that, around Seattle, many of the airfields had "vanished."
The conclusion he came to was that if general aviation is going to have a future, it is going to have to change—and in 2005 Tibbitts said he wrote a paper for NASA proposing eVTOLs as the future. Thus, he sees himself as one of the visionaries behind the current boom in interest.