Zeva’s Zero electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aircraft has successfully completed its first untethered test flight, according to an announcement from the Tacoma-based startup on Thursday. The vehicle made a total of four uncrewed flights during the test session and conducted maneuvers including a controlled hover, simulated taxi at slow speeds and limited vertical climb. Zeva says its team completed more than 50 tethered flights with the design prior to the untethered test.
“This is a huge inflection point for ZEVA as we join an exclusive set of proven flying eVTOL platforms, and a testament to the relentless hard work and ingenuity of our entire team over the past two and half years,” said Zeva CEO Stephen Tibbitts. “We are dissecting our learnings from our critical first taxiing flight, which is a direct result of the support we’ve received from our investors and community, leading us to bring in additional talent to spearhead this historic moment.”
The company says the Zero “personal flying machine” will have a 50-mile range, cruise at up to 160 MPH and be small enough to “fit in a standard automobile parking space.” The eVTOL, which features a flying wing airframe and eight electric motor-driven propellers, is designed for a single pilot. Zeva currently estimates the price point at under $250,000.