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Civil Aviation
JetSuite commits to hybrid-electric aircraft
JetSuite commits to hybrid-electric aircraft
© Zunum Aero

| Staff writer 155 mots

JetSuite commits to hybrid-electric aircraft

U.S. charter operator JetSuite has committed to purchasing up to 100 of the 12-seat hybrid-electric aircraft being developed by Seattle-based Zunum Aero.

Private jet charter operator JetSuite has committed to purchasing up to 100 of the 12-seat hybrid-electric aircraft being developed by Seattle-based Zunum Aero. Flight testing is due to start next year, and first deliveries are tentatively scheduled for the early 2020s.

Zunum has secured financial backing from Boeing, through its HorizonX “innovation cell”, and from the state of Washington. Investors in JetSuite include JetBlue Airways (which became a strategic partner in October 2016) and Qatar Airways (which announced its investment in April 2018). JetSuite founder and CEO Alex Wilcox was a founding executive of JetBlue.

The Zunum concept features a cabin seating up to 12 passeners, and two aft-mounted electric propulsors on either side of a hybrid-to-electric powertrain. The powerplant is supplemented by battery packs integrated in the wings.

Zunum's initial twin-engined testbed will be gradually converted to a hybrid-electric configuration, with one, then two electric motors. The range objective is more than 700 miles.

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