Zunum Aero has announced that it plans to deliver the first in a family of breakthrough regional hybrid-to-electric airplanes in 2022.

The company, which is backed by Boeing and JetBlue Technology Ventures, says the aircraft will carry up to 12 passengers with range of 700 miles.

Ashish Kumar, CEO, Zunum Aero, comments: “By scaling airliner-grade economics to mid-sized platforms, design for quiet, green and fast door-to-door service to tens of thousands of secondary airports, our aircraft will usher in a new era of fast and affordable regional travel.”

He pinpoints the following notable features:

  • Direct costs per seat mile of 8 cents, or $250 per hour for the aircraft
  • Maximum cruise speed of 340 miles per hour
  • Take-off distance of 2,200 feet
  • 80% lower emissions and noise

Kumar adds: “This is a first step toward our vision of bringing fast, affordable regional travel to thousands of communities, transforming the way we live and work: a world where destinations in DC are just 2.5 hours away from the Boston area, rather than twice as long today, at fares a third below commercial; or where the slopes at Whistler are within 2 hours of the Seattle area, versus nearly 7 hours away today.”

Zunum Aero also announced the opening of a second development centre in the Chicagoland area, where it is developing its electric propulsion technologies and starting ground tests. The company’s technologists come with experience from United Technologies, Rolls Royce, GE and Safran.