SAFRAN reports that Zunum Aero, a pioneer in electric aviation, selected its Safran Helicopter Engines for the Zunum ZA10 hybrid-to-electric commercial aircraft. The ZA10 will be available in the early 2020s.
Safran Helicopter Engines will provide a new generation engine turbine to drive the Zunum ZA10’s electrical generator. This turbo-generator will power the 12-seat, hybrid-to-electric 700-mile range aircraft, driving extraordinarily low operating costs, offering unprecedented door-to-door travel times that are 2 to 4 times faster than today. Zunum expects to light up thirty thousand airports around the world with frequent and affordable air service.
The ZA10 is the first in the company’s family of regional, hybrid-to-electric aircraft. It will be powered by dual power sources: propulsion batteries, and a Safran turboshaft from the 1,700 to 2,000 shaft horsepower (shp) Ardiden range. The engine will be coupled with an electric generator, and the integrated turbo-generator will deliver 500kW of electric power to supplement the battery packs on key stages of flight and over long ranges.
The new aircraft is expected to deliver breakthrough operating costs of 8 cents per available seat mile or $250 per hour for the aircraft, which is 60-80% lower than comparable conventional aircraft of comparable size. The ZA10 aircraft is designed to cruise and land on turbo-generator power alone, offering full redundancy.