Small U.S.-based charter airline JetSuite will be the starting company of the Zunum, a twelve seats electric aircraft backed by Boeing. The company should eventually receive 100 planes in order to expand their operations.

Zunum Aero should start flight test of a prototype of the aircraft in 2019. “We remain on track for flight testing in 2019 and continue to grow our technical leadership across power electronics, electric motors, propulsors and aircraft,” said CTO Matt Knapp in an official statement. The company expects to receive the airworthiness approval by 2022. The plane would then become the first electric-powered business aircraft. The delivery date, however, is yet to be determined.

The aircraft is powered by batteries fitted in the wings and twin electric engines at its tail. It will be fitted with a regular fuel engine as backup. The first version of the plane, the ZA10, should have a range of 1,120 kilometers, while the bigger version which will be introduced later on, the ZA50, could reach 1,600 km. The company is currently looking into retrofitting an existing plane to test its engines.

And, do not forget: Airbus and NASA are studying similar designs, but so far, the Boeing-backed Zunum has been ahead in the development race.