JetSuite Plans to Fly Hybrid-Electric Planes by 2022

May 22, 2018

This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

JetSuite has lost no time putting its Qatar investment money to good use: On Monday, aviation startup Zunum Aero announced that the private jet charter company will be its inaugural customer for a new hybrid-electric aircraft, with an estimated delivery date sometime in 2022. While no financial details were released, JetSuite could potentially commit to purchase up to 100 planes from Zunum Aero.

Zunum Aero‘s aircraft for JetSuite will primarily be built of composite materials. Two engines mounted just in front of the distinctive V-tail will be powered by “Tesla-style” electric propulsion packs located to the rear of the passenger cabin, which will allow the Zunum Aero plane to carry relatively little fuel over the aircraft’s anticipated range of 700 miles.

The Zunum Aero’s 340 mph cruise speed is almost 10% faster than similarly sized commercial planes currently in use, such as Pilatus and King Air aircraft. Because the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) requires two pilots for 10 or more passengers on commercial aircraft, the initial 12-passenger design will most likely be modified to seat nine passengers.

Planes this size typically serve private charter companies like JetSuite that offer on-demand air taxi services between neighboring cities for business executives who prefer to fly in and out of smaller airports to avoid the hassle of commercial travel.

Zunum Aero CEO Ashish Kumar believes his innovative aircraft will make private aviation more accessible to a wider sector of the population. Kumar, an aerospace engineering Ph.D who previously held senior executive roles with Google and Microsoft, estimates the Zunum Aero will cost around $250 per flight hour to operate. In comparison, non-electric planes currently in use average between $600–1,000 per flight hour in operations costs.

Kumar sees the JetSuite aircraft as its first in a range of hybrid-electric designs, including a plane that can carry between 30 to 50 passengers. The ambitious aviation startup is also joining the ranks of companies developing autonomous flying aircraft. The company is backed by investors including HorizonX, Boeing’s venture capital subsidiary, as well as the state of Washington.

All images by Zunum Aero.

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

WELCOME OFFER: 80,000 Points


CARD HIGHLIGHTS: 3X points on dining and 2x points on travel, points transferrable to over a dozen travel partners

*Bonus value is an estimated value calculated by TPG and not the card issuer. View our latest valuations here.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,000 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
  • Enjoy benefits such as a $50 annual Ultimate Rewards Hotel Credit, 5x on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, 3x on dining and 2x on all other travel purchases, plus more.
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,000 toward travel.
  • With Pay Yourself Back℠, your points are worth 25% more during the current offer when you redeem them for statement credits against existing purchases in select, rotating categories
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more.
Regular APR
16.24% - 23.24% Variable
Annual Fee
Balance Transfer Fee
Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
Recommended Credit

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.