Tech start-up Zunum Aero pursues development of hybrid-electric aircraft

Kirkland, Washington-based Zunum Aero is developing regional hybrid-electric aircraft for the early 2020s, offering unmatched speeds and reduced costs for flights from 700 miles at launch, to over 1,000 miles by 2030, the company said.

Zunum Aero´s 10 – 50 seat aircraft are designed to enable frequent service to the US network of over 5,000 underutilized regional and general aviation airports, and to offer fast and affordable electric air travel.

Zunum Aero is three years into development. The company has also been actively engaged with the FAA since 2014 to drive development of certification standards for electric aircraft.

Zunum Aero is backed by Boeing (NYSE: BA) through its Boeing HorizonX innovation cell, and JetBlue Technology Ventures, a subsidiary of JetBlue Airways (NASDAQ: JBLU). In addition, Zunum has a long-term partnership with the Center for Power Optimization of Electro-Thermal Systems, an NSF Engineering Research Center at the University of Illinois, and a network of collaborators across leading universities and government labs.

Boeing is an aerospace company and manufacturer of commercial jetliners and defense, space, and security systems. The company supports airlines and US and allied government customers in 150 countries. Boeing products and tailored services include commercial and military aircraft, satellites, weapons, electronic and defense systems, launch systems, advanced information and communication systems, and performance-based logistics and training.

JetBlue Technology Ventures, a wholly-owned subsidiary of JetBlue (NASDAQ: JBLU) located in Silicon Valley, California, invests in, incubates, and partners with early stage startups. The company prioritizes investments that advance the customer-centric journey; technology empowered customer service; the future of operations and maintenance; revenue management, sales & distribution; and new regional transport ecosystems.

Zunum Aero is building a family of commercial hybrid-to-electric aircraft designed for regional transit, and powered by quiet range-optimized powertrain and propulsion technologies. The company´s vision is to develop 1,000-mile electric air networks to bring fast and affordable travel to every community.