Zunum planning fleet of hybrid-electric planes
October 9, 2018 -- Seattle-based startup Zunum Aero, backed by aviation giants Boeing and JetBlue, is aiming to reshape regional air travel with its ZA10 – the first in a series of planned hybrid-electric commuter aircraft.
The 12-seater plane could potentially access a network of more than 5,000 underused regional and general aviation airports in the U.S., with a projected operating cost of $250 per hour – some 60-80 percent lower than comparable conventional aircraft.
France’s Safran SA has been chosen to supply the ZA10’s Ardiden 3 turbine engine, which will deliver 500kW of electric power to drive two ducted fan propulsors mounted on the aircraft’s fuselage.
Zunum claims that the hybrid-electric powertrain will create 75 percent less noise and up to 80 percent lower emissions than traditional regional aircraft.
Private aviation company JetSuite has announced it will buy up to 100 ZA10s, with deliveries due to begin in 2022.