Boeing & JetBlue invest in aerospace start-up Zunum Aero

Boeing & JetBlue invest in aerospace start-up Zunum Aero

Posted by Vivek Nama on April 7th 2017

A hybrid electric aircraft start-up- Zunum Aero founded by an Indian-origin entrepreneur has received investments from aerospace giants -- Boeing and JetBlue for its potential to develop alternative propulsion aircraft.   Boeing said it made the investments in the start-up through the ventures arm of a new group called 'Boeing HorizonX', an innovation cell focused on accelerating potentially transformative aerospace technologies, manufacturing innovations and emerging business models.Boeing HorizonX is partnering with JetBlue Technology Ventures to invest in Zunum Aero.    In a statement, Boeing HorizonX Vice President Steve Nordlund said Zunum's hybrid electric technology was leading the way in the up-and-coming segment, according to a Business Insider report.   
Zunum Aero, founded by Ashish Kumar three years ago in Kirkland, Washington is working to develop a an electric hybrid aircraft with potential for performance and efficiency improvements in a range of aerospace applications.     The jets primarily operate on battery power with an aviation diesel or turbine range-extending power generator available as backup, a report in Fortune said.  
Ashish Kumar is a PhD in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering from the Cornell University   and has held leadership roles in Microsoft, Google, Dell, and McKinsey. Kumar worked as a professor of engineering at Brown University in his early career, and as a research fellow at the Sandia National Laboratories. His startup experience includes helping the launch Aeroxchange, now the largest electronic marketplace for the aviation industry.     
The start-up intends to use the financing to further develop its proposed regional aircrafts that hold 10 to 50 passengers for flights up to 1,000 miles.


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