Hybrid-electric passenger planes to take off in 2022

Hybrid-electric passenger planes to take off in 2022

Editorial Staff
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The project for the aircraft, with seating for up to 12 passengers, was announced by a Seattle startup

A Seattle-based startup, backed by Boeing and JetBlue Airways, has announced it will deliver its first hybrid-electric passenger plane by 2022. The small aircraft, the first to be developed by Zunum Aero, with seating for up to 12 passengers and a maximum range of 1,600 km, will be propelled by two electric motors that will dramatically reduce the travel time and cost of flying. Several companies, including Uber Technologies and Airbus, are working to develop these electric flying machines. Zunum's planes are expected to fly from thousands of small airports near big cities to cut regional travel times and costs. Zenum's motors would be powered by electric batteries such as those made by Tesla and Panasonic, but so far Zunum has no commitment with either company. The motor being designed will drive a fan similar to the bypass fan on a jet engine, but without a jet’s combustion. Zunum has started talks with aircraft manufacturers about airframe construction, and is building non-flying prototypes of the powertrain to test the batteries, electrical system, software and other components.