Zee Aero located in Googleplex in California has been working on a unique concept of a flying vehicle capable of vertical take off and landing. As Google is working in many transportation-related projects, it was speculated that Zee.Aero is associated to Google.The vehicle design has been led by Ilan Kroo, an aeronautics and astronautics professor at Stanford University and NASA scientist. He has also been said to be the CEO of Zee.Aero since 2011.
The craft is described as ‘safe, quiet easily controlled and compact aircraft configuration’ in the patent found for it.
A safe, quiet, easy to control, efficient, and compact aircraft configuration is enabled through the combination of multiple vertical lift rotors, tandem wings, and forward thrust propellers. The vertical lift rotors, in combination with a front and rear wing, permits a balancing of the center of lift with the center of gravity for both vertical and horizontal flight. This wing and multiple rotor system has the ability to tolerate a relatively large variation of the payload weight for hover, transition, or cruise flight while also providing vertical thrust redundancy. The propulsion system uses multiple lift rotors and forward thrust propellers of a small enough size to be shielded from potential blade strike and provide increased perceived and real safety to the passengers. Using multiple independent rotors provides redundancy and the elimination of single point failure modes that can make the vehicle non-operable in flight (Personal Aircraft US 20130214086 A1).
The vehicle prototype requires very short runway, if at all for vertical take-off. It is reported that one of the versions of the prototype can land and fit into a car space equivalent to standard shopping center complex.
There are several openings in the company’s website involving composite fabrication and design. Thus it is concluded that the composite materials are being used to design an aircraft. And it is surely expected very soon we would see more news from Zee.Aero.