Airliners power by electric motors may be here sooner than you think. Boeing, JetBlue and NASA all think a future with electric airplanes is a good bet as they are investing their time and money in the project.
Zunum Aero, a Seattle based startup thinks they can have electric airliners in the skies as soon as the beginning of the next decade and that it could reduce airfares and travel times by a large amount.
“The shift of the industry to large aircraft and long ranges driven by gas turbines has concentrated almost all air traffic to just two percent of our airports, creating a massive transport gap over regional distances where there is no high-speed alternative,” said Zunum Aero CEO and founder Ashish Kumar.
“As a result, door-to-door times for most journeys are no better than they were 50 years ago. Hybrid propulsion is an industry-changing solution, enabling midsize aircraft on regional routes to have better cost efficiencies than airliners.”
The Kirkland, Washington-based company characterizes Zunum’s plan to “democratize” air travel by lowering operating costs to the point that would allow for 40- to 80-percent lower airfares. Meanwhile, door-to-door travel times would shrink by 40 percent on busy corridors and by as much as 80 percent on less trafficked ones. – AINonline.com
Airbus already has a small prototype electric airplane that actually flew across the English Channel in 2015
Zunum Aero has been working with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) since 2014 on developing standards for electric aircraft.
Are you ready to take a ride on a battery powered airplane?
Featured image by Zunum Aero