You Could Soon Be Flying The Friendly Skies On A Hybrid-Electric Airplane
Zunum Aero, a startup from Kirkland, Washington, has been working on an electric plane for the last 5 years. News has broken that they plan to release the very first hybrid-electric aircraft in 2022 and it will be available for commercial flights.
Backed By Boeing
Zunum Aero has been backed by Boeing Co. from the start. Boeing is a multinational corporation that has manufactured everything from airplanes to rockets to satellites. So basically, they are the perfect pairing to make this new way of flying possible.
The plan is to deliver the new aircraft to JetSuite, a small charter airline. They want to expand their commercial flights nationally. Matt Knapp, co-founder of the startup, said that they plan to deliver as many as 100 electric aircraft to the airline.
The Future Of Flying
Aside from Boeing’s support, JetBlue and Qatar Airways have also invested in Zunum. While the aircraft will be presented to JetSuite, there is a lot of positivity surrounding the plan and the future seems bright. According to Ashish Kumar, Zunum’s chief officer, “We have a shared vision for fundamentally transforming and improving the way that people live and travel.”
Each plane will seat around 12 passengers. The new electric motors will eliminate the loud roar of the typical combustion engines. The plane’s fans will also be driven by electric motors and the wings will contain battery packs rather than fuel.
Preparing For Take-Off
Zunum has been developing prototypes for these aircraft at their centers in Washington, Illinois, and Indiana. They plan to run test flights starting in 2019, only about one year from now. If all goes well, the 2022 release date should be the start of environmentally-friendly flying.
JetSuite has decided to begin their scheduled routes along the West Coast, including California and Las Vegas. It will allow for private terminals and completely eliminate the hustle and bustle of crowded airport terminals. If you live along the West Coast, you could potentially be flying in one of these aircraft not too long from now.
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