Boeing, JetBlue back electric-jet start-up Zenum Aero

The hybrid electric-aircraft start-up Zunum Aero announced that it had received an investment from Boeing and JetBlue. “I consider us very fortunate to have backers like JetBlue and Boeing,” Zunum Aero founder and CEO Ashish Kumar told Business Insider. Zunum’s proposed regional aircraft would hold 10 to 50 passengers with a range of up to 1,000 miles. According to Kumar, the jet will be powered by a battery first series hybrid propulsion system. This calls for the aircraft to run primarily on battery power with an aviation diesel or turbine range-extending power generator on call if necessary. Since the aircraft isn’t expected to fly until the next decade and will have a service life of roughly 20 years, Zunum is designing its aircraft to be “future-proof” — meaning the aircraft will be designed in a way that will allow it to adopt new technology.