While several automakers are working towards making electric cars a commonality, Zunum Aero – a Boeing backed aerospace venture – announced the release of a hybrid electric plane. The plane is likely to be up for sale in 2022.
Boeing and air carrier JetBlue have both invested in the Seattle-based startup called the Zunum Aero.
The small aircraft is powered by two electric motors, and is the first of many planes planned by Zunum Aero.
It recently released details regarding its aircraft which it said would have a capacity of 12 passengers and would dramatically reduce the travel time and cost of trips less than 1,000 miles.
The plane will result in 80 percent fewer emissions and will have a maximum cruise speed of 340 miles per hour, the company said.
Zunum aims to use rapidly evolving battery technology and artificial intelligence systems that avoid obstacles on a road or in the sky.
It says that it aims to address a gap in regional travel of up to 1,000 miles that hasn’t been addressed as yet. It claims that this segment has few options, high costs and “door-to-door travel times haven’t improved in decades”.
In order to cut on the regional travel time and cost, Zunum’s planes would fly from thousands of small airports around big cities. It will skip larger airports such as Washington and Boston and instead travel from Beverly, Massachusetts to College Park, Maryland. Bonny Simi, president of JetBlue Technology Ventures says,
We believe that the regional transportation industry is ripe for disruption and we’re excited to support Zunum and its efforts to help introduce a new era of aviation.
Zunum Aero has hired technologists who have worked on leading-edge vehicles for Boeing and Rolls-Royce and the test flights are expected to begin by 2019.