Zunum Aero, a pioneer in electric aviation, is developing regional hybrid-electric aircraft for the early 2020s, offering unmatched door-to-door speeds and reduced costs for flights from 700 miles at launch, to over 1,000 miles by 2030.
Zunum Aero aircraft are designed to take aviation into the future: enabling frequent service to the nation’s network of over 5,000 underutilized regional and general aviation airports.
These 10 to 50 seat aircraft will pave the way to a golden era of fast and affordable electric air travel, reversing the 70 year consolidation of air services.
Zunum Aero is backed by Boeing (NYSE: BA) and JetBlue Technology Ventures, a subsidiary of JetBlue Airways (NASDAQ: JBLU); both believe that regional travel is ripe for transformation.
With multiple patented technologies already in place, Zunum Aero has designed an innovative class of hybrid-electric aircraft and is developing technologies to create a regional electric air network.
These aircraft, as part of new regional electric air networks, will offer a fast, flexible and affordable alternative to highways and high-speed rail, operating point-to-point and as feeders to hub airports.
By shifting traffic from hubs to regional airports, Zunum Aero is democratizing access to fast and affordable travel.
Designing aircraft for walk-on, walk-off travel from nearby airports addresses the major pain points of modern air transit while filling a vast regional transport gap.
For example, passengers can expect to travel from regional airports in the Boston area to Washington, DC for half the fare and in half the time it takes today door-to-door.
Among the many advantages hybrid aircraft will offer, according to Zunum, are –
1. Decrease door-to-door travel times on busy corridors by 40 percent and cut travel time on less-trafficked corridors by 80 percent;
2. Sharply reduce operating costs, enabling ticket prices 40-80 percent below current fares;
3. Cut emissions by 80 percent, falling to zero over time as battery densities improve; and
4. Cut community noise 75 percent, enabling all-hours access to smaller airports.
Zunum has been working with the United States Federal Aviation Administration since 2014 to drive development of certification standards for electric aircraft,a complete set of which is expected by 2018.
The first electrics are likely to become certified in 2020.