Northwest Aerospace News PNAA 2021 ADVANCE - Page 28

Google Maps is a wonderful thing , and a time-saver when plotting a new location . However , with a quick zoom into the map , you can see winding roads , left turns , right turns , roundabouts , and traffic jams . Getting places by car is easy but is based upon use of roadways and traffic laws .

What if you could walk outside of your house and hop into your own personal air vehicle that launches vertically and flies 50 miles at 160 miles per hour ? How would that change the game ?
ZEVA AERO hopes to do just that in the not distant future . Stephen Tibbitts , founder of ZEVA AERO , has a vision that human transportation will go , “ as the crow flies ,” which means a direct route from point A to point B . ZEVA stands for Zero-emissions Electric Vertical Aircraft and is considered an electric vertical take-off and landing vehicle ( eVTOL ).
Tibbitts , an entrepreneur and aerospace visionary , has been thinking about personal air transportation since 2003 , and in 2005 he wrote a proposal to NASA to develop the concept . While his proposal was not accepted at that time , a lot has happened in 16 years . Space travel has gone from a single source to private , commercial enterprises , and not everything has to run through the federal government . Of course , both NASA and the FAA still have a deep stake in all aircraft and space travel , and both innovate and regulate new ideas while partnering with OEMs and suppliers .
“ In 2017 I learned about the GoFly Prize and put together a team to pursue it . I felt the world had caught up and come together to make it a viable thing ,” he said . He also said in many cases rural and small airports have disappeared which makes it harder for those with small personal aircraft , like a Cessna , to land for recreational purposes — which is another driving factor , for him , with eVTOL .
Innovation is in the collective consciousness of the team over at ZEVA AERO , who have been developing the ZERO since 2017 . Tibbitts said , “ In the 2025 and 2026 consumer market it ’ s a Jetson ’ s utopia , where people can zip around in the air and not be dependent upon a ground-based structure . It ’ s more efficient than current transportation models .