Seattle-based Startup Plans to Launch Electric-hybrid Aircraft by 2022

Published By : 06 Oct 2017 | Published By : QYRESEARCH

In a revolutionary development in the aerospace industry, a Seattle-based startup Zunum Aero plans to bring out a hybrid-electric airliner into the market by 2022. The venture backed by Boeing Co and JetBlue Airways Corp is expected to makes waves to reduce travel time and cost for trips less than 1,000 miles.

The first among a range of aircraft planned by the company would have the capacity for up to 12 passengers and would receive power from two electric motors.

Airliner to go Completely Battery-operated in Later Phase

Regarding the technical specifications, the aircraft’s motor will receive power from electric vehicle batteries like the ones manufactured by Tesla Inc. and Panasonic Corp. Besides this, an electrical generator and supplemental gas engine and would be used to provide the aircraft a range of 700 miles. However, Zunum is not committed to Tesla or Panasonic to make battery purchases.

Following this, a large plane that would seat up to 50 passengers is expected to be rolled out by the end of next decade with the range for both expected to increase to 1,000 miles with the improvement in battery technology.

The planes are designed to eventually fly solely on battery power with one pilot, and finally to be remotely piloted.

Zunum is not expecting to be certified as the first to roll out an electric-powered aircraft. The objective is to present a solution for regional travel for airlines, where commercial jetliners and private jets do not fit the bill. Airlines are keen on knowing the means to fly short distance and make money out of it. 

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