Private aviation company JetSuite will be the launch customer for the Zunum hybrid-electric 12-seat aircraft. The aircraft, the first of a planned family of regional platforms, is due to be delivered in 2022.
“JetSuite, with its tradition of shifting paradigms in aviation, is an ideal partner for us in this launch collaboration,” said Zunum Aero CEO Ashish Kumar. “We have a shared vision for fundamentally transforming and improving the way that people live and travel.”
The first aircraft from Boeing-backed Zunum will be the ZA10, with a cruise speed of 340mph, a range of 700 miles and a low runway requirement of 2,200 feet for takeoff.
Zunum is also working on a bigger airliner, the ZA50, with longer range. JetSuiteX, the regional airline side of JetSuite, is planning to operate that aircraft from the mid-2020s.
Alex Wilcox, founder and CEO of JetSuite and JetSuiteX, said, “At JetSuite and JetSuiteX, we appreciate the boldness required to change the status quo, and we see it in spades at Zunum. We share Zunum’s vision for hybrid to electric aviation. With this partnership, we expect to bring ever more efficient and environmentally friendly aviation solutions to our private and semi-private jet customers.”
Zunum Aero says it is on track for flight testing in 2019, rapidly growing its technical bench across power electronics, electric motors, propulsors and aircraft.
Founded in 2013, Zunum Aero is funded by Boeing HorizonX, JetBlue Technology Ventures, and the State of Washington Clean Energy Fund.