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A New Flying Car? (Updated)

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Photo: Greg Espiritu via SFChronicle

Photo: Greg Espiritu via SFChronicle

A blogger in the San Francisco Bay area who published patent drawings on Wednesday that show designs for a battery-powered "personal aircraft" with vertical takeoff and landing capabilities, has now updated the story with a photo. The patents were filed by Zee.Aero, a somewhat mysterious company based in Mountain View. Caleb Garling, writing for the SFGate Tech Chronicles, found the patent drawings and published a link to them. Garling had postulated that the company might be financed by Google, but Ilan Kroo, a Stanford aeronautics professor who has been CEO of Zee.Aero since 2011, told AVweb in an email this week that's not the case. "I amworking on some interesting transportation ideas at a start-up company in Mt. View (near Google and other tech companies, but not affiliated with them)," he wrote.

Kroo added that "the company is in its early stages -- still in stealth mode -- and we have not been talking to people about our plans quite yet. Ill look forward to talking with you when things are a bit further along." This week, the company also updated its bare-bones website to a more elegant format -- although still with minimal information. "We're creating an entirely new aircraft," the website now states. "In the heart of Silicon Valley, at the intersection of aerodynamics, autonomy, and electric propulsion -- were changing personal aviation.With simulations and prototypes, CAD and carbon fiber, were designing, building, and testing better ways to get from A to B."The site also features job postings for engineers and composites manufacturing technicians. Garling said the photo published this week was taken from a helicopter above the former Navy airfield in Alameda, a little less than a year ago.

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