Boeing Wants To Branch Into Hybrid Plane Market

Boeing Wants To Branch Into Hybrid Plane Market”

The latest battery technology can only power the plane for over 100 miles, however, a gas-powered engine would be used to generate electricity that can power the motors further.

Look out easyJet. Following recent news of easyJet and Wright Electric's development of the first electric commercial airplane, Zunum Aero has also emerged with an ambitious plan to deliver regional hybrid-electric airplanes by the early 2020s.

Zunum's plans and timetable underscore a rush to develop small electric aircraft based on rapidly evolving battery technology and artificial intelligence systems that avoid obstacles on a road or in the sky.

A number of companies, consisting of Uber Inc and European planemaker Airbus, are dealing with intra-urban electric-powered self-flying cars.

Zunum Aeros hybrid-electric aircraft, due to enter service in 2022, is seen in this undated artist's rendering released by Zunum Aero on October 5, 2017.

Planes the size of Zunum's would be able to use thousands of smaller airports across the USA for passenger travel, cutting down on time lost in security and crowds at major hubs. This will help decrease flights in expensive private jets. About 96 percent of US air traffic flows through 1 percent of the nation's airports, Knapp said.

A bigger plane seating as much as 50 guests would follow at the end of the next decade, and the series of both would increase to about 1,000 miles as battery technology enhances, Knapp stated.

The planes eventually would fly exclusively on battery power, and are being created to fly with one pilot and to eventually be remotely piloted, he added. "That kind of aircraft doesn't now exist".

Official specifications include a max cruise speed of 340 mph, a 700-plus mile maximum range, a max altitude of 25,000 feet, and a rate of climb of 1,600 feet per minute.

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