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Posted by Caribbean World Magazine on 31 March 2021 | 0 Comments

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31 March 2021

Flying car a high-tech reality after fourth successful test flight 

It is shaped like a flying saucer, and the full-scale electric ZEVA Aero, created by Tacoma, Washington-based firm ZEVA, truly is out of this world. Now having completed four flights, totaling more than four minutes of controlled hovering, simulated taxiing manoeuvres at slow speeds and limited vertical climb manoeuvres, the aeronautical automobile is one step closer to mass production. Defined as a vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) aircraft, the vehicle can take off straight up into the air, reducing the need for runway space. ZEVA Aero refers to the craft as a 'personal flying machine' that can transition from an upright 'hover mode' to 'forward flight mode' where the passenger faces downwards as they zoom through the air in a 'Superman-like trajectory'.  

Wondering how much it costs to snap one up? Well the patent-pending design is expected to be available for pre-order with a deposit of around $5,000 (£3,650) deposit as early as March 2022.Estimates for the final price tag for the first production units suggest a total cost of up to $250,000 (£182,000).   

The series of unmanned flight tests took place over rolling green countryside in rural Pierce County, in the USA, on January 9 this year.Zeva claims the vehicle will be able to hit 160 mph, thus allowing speedy travel in superhero-style! Though it may look bizarre, the flexibility of this ecologically-sound zero-emission electric craft is designed for a single pilot and is small enough to fit in a standard automobile parking space. Once airborne, and upright in 'hover mode', the single passenger will be sat upright and able to see out of the window at the top. In forward flight mode, the aircraft will tilt towards a horizontal orientation, allowing unrestricted views of the ground below.  

The latest test marks a significant progression from 2019’s using a scaled-down version of the aircraft, at just one-sixth of its actual size.  Future tests will involve a humanpassenger in the ZEVA Aero cockpit and will assess flight in the more adventurous near-horizontal orientation.