Bothell-based Zunum Aero, an aviation company backed by Boeing and JetBlue Airways, is developing a hybrid electric aircraft designed to fly fewer than 1,000 miles in and out of small regional airports. The result? Door-to-door flight times two to four times faster, according to Zunum Aero officials; ticket prices 40 to 80 percent cheaper; and operating costs 80 percent lower when compared to large commercial airplanes.
“When you take a flight, 70 percent of time spent is on the ground,” said Brad Fanton, senior principal engineer at Zunum Aero. “We plan to leverage thousands of underused regional airports so that you can show up and painlessly get on the plane.”
The small hybrid electric planes are designed to seat nine to 12 passengers, as well as efficiently fly shorter distances than most aircrafts.
In the long run, Zunum Aero plans to convert the planes from hybrid to fully electric, aiming to eliminate all emissions for sub-1,000-mile travel by 2030.