Zunum Aero – Start-Up to Reinvent Regional Air Travel
A start-up co-founded by the Grainger CEME Associate Director, Kiruba Haran, is trying to reinvent regional air travel. Zunum Aero, the Hummingbird of the Skies*, is based in Kirkland, WA and focused on small regional jets powered with electric propellers. The company has received financial backing from Boeing and JetBlue Technology Ventures, a subsidiary of JetBlue Airways, and is currently in the “build” phase with products expected in the 2020s. The first aircraft introduced into the market will have a ten-fifteen passenger capacity and travel up to 700 miles. By 2030, the start-up aims to have planes flying over 1,000 miles carrying up to fifty passengers. The hybrid-electric aircraft are projected to improve the economics of regional trips with significantly lower operating costs. These small, electric jets will also cut travel times since fewer Transportation Security Administration regulations are enforced on smaller planes. *Zunum is a derivation of tzunuum, the Mayan word for hummingbird. Think small, fast, and quiet!
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