November 22, 2013 - Forget self-driving cars. How about flying ones? Reports have emerged of what appears to be a mysterious airborne vehicle being developed by a stealth company operating near Google's Mountain View headquarters.
On Wednesday, the San Francisco Chronicle reported on patent filings by a hush-hush outfit called Zee.Aero that describe a "personal aircraft" with unique characteristics.
The proposed vehicle's design is so unusual that it looks like something out of science fiction. But a later article revealed that more than one snoop has managed to capture photographs of a real-life aircraft bearing a striking resemblance to the illustrations in Zee.Aero's patents.
Whether the vehicle in the photos is exactly the same as the one described in the patents is unclear. The patents imply an aircraft with a pilot and room for passengers, while the aircraft in the photos looks unmanned.
Both vehicles share the same unusual wing configuration, however, and both appear to achieve their lift using twin rows of vertical-facing propellers, plus two more in the rear for thrust.