Home 2017-05-08T15:27:25+00:00

Fast, affordable and everywhere

What if you could get to places much faster than you can today? What if flying cost a lot less than it does today? If thousands of communities were connected by air service? What if aircraft were quieter, with far lower emissions?

We’re making it so.

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We’re changing the way people travel

Get there much faster — and on your schedule

Imagine leaving your doorstep in San Jose at 7 AM and making it to a 9:30 AM meeting in Pasadena. With Zunum Aero, simply drive to a nearby airfield and walk to your aircraft with bags in tow, for a trip that will take half the time and at a much lower fare. Or skip the meeting altogether, and be on the slopes in Tahoe by 8:40 AM for $100 round-trip, and back home the same evening.

Fly to thousands of communities

We are a land of towns and communities, many with airports, but few with regular air service. Our stock of 13,500 airports is the largest in the world, yet just 140 of the largest hubs carry over 97% of air traffic. This has left many of us with long drives to catch a flight, while on shorter trips we skip air travel altogether. Communities without good air service also struggle to attract investment and create jobs.

Electric aircraft of varying sizes are ideally suited to this critical need, requiring little support other than a GPS flightpath and a quick recharge or swap facility on the tarmac. Be it Moses Lake, Beaumont, Santa Fe or Butte: prepare for the convenience of frequent electric air service.

Tread lightly

Did you know that short-haul flights produce over 40% of aviation emissions? With our aircraft, we believe these will be largely eliminated within twenty years. Our aircraft are “hybrid-to-electrics” that sip fuel only when they have to, will use even less over time as batteries upgrade, and will one day go completely without — so that flying will be kind to the Earth.

Who We Are

We are dreamers, engineers and pilots primarily based in Washington, and with partners across the country. We are over 3 years into our journey toward democratizing access to high speed travel. We are passionate about high-speed connectivity to every community and neighborhood, so you can live where you like, get anywhere fast, and leave behind a healthy planet.

Founding Team

Sandi Adam
Sandi Adam
Sandi Hwang Adam is Chief Marketer at Zunum Aero. A McKinsey-trained strategist, Sandi has held marketing leadership and advisory roles across high-growth companies, including ProFlowers, RedEnvelope, Global Analytics, Yieldify, Lyft and LOT Network. As a startup founder, she was recognized as one of Crain’s Chicago Business 40 Under 40 Rising Stars in Business. Sandi has a BS in Composite Materials from Cornell University and an MBA from Duke University. When she’s not at her desk, you can find Sandi hiking, biking or running along canyon trails, eagerly awaiting the dawn of quiet aircraft flying overhead.
Kiruba Haran, Ph.D.
Kiruba Haran, Ph.D.
Kiruba Haran is Advanced Drives Leader at Zunum Aero. He brings a long history with lightweight electric machines, superconducting and non-cryogenic, to Zunum Aero. Kiruba is a Professor at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, where he leads a NASA-funded program to develop drives to power electric airliners. Prior to that, at GE Research, he led development of advanced machines for all of GE’s industrial businesses. A drive to help bring sustainable electricity everywhere drove Kiruba to a PhD in Electric Power Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and he is now excited to replicate for high-speed travel.
Matt Knapp
Matt Knapp
Matt Knapp is the Aero Chief Engineer at Zunum Aero. A certified flight instructor with a passion for all things aviation, he was building rockets and model airplanes at 5, and got a pilot’s license at 17. Matt followed his interest to a BS and MS in Aerospace Engineering at MIT. Prior to founding Zunum Aero, he was Lead Designer for the Javelin high performance jet and Lead Aerodynamicist for Pioneer Rocketplane’s spacecraft. He has also consulted across major aircraft OEMs, NASA and DARPA. Today, when he’s not working, you might find him teaching others how to fly, or on a mountain peak admiring the effortless, silent flight of eagles.
Ashish Kumar, Ph.D.
Ashish Kumar, Ph.D.
Ashish Kumar is CEO of Zunum Aero. Inspired by the disruptive power of electric aircraft, he founded Zunum Aero following a long record of commercial leadership across Microsoft, Google, Dell, and McKinsey. His startup experience includes helping launch Aeroxchange, now the largest electronic marketplace for the aviation industry. Ashish has a B.Tech. from IIT Delhi, and a PhD in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering from Cornell University, and spent his early career as Professor of Engineering at Brown University, and as research fellow at Sandia National Laboratories. Whether hiking or sailing, he is excited to combine his love for the outdoors with his work on sustainable flight.
Katie Otto
Katie Otto
Katie Otto is the Chief of Finance at Zunum Aero. From early years in public accounting at Deloitte, Katie has held senior finance roles at a number of technology ventures in the Seattle area. Katie holds a BA from the University of Washington and is a Certified Public Accountant. Katie started her career as a Backcountry Wilderness Ranger in Mount Rainier National Park, and continues that thread by helping manage her family’s non-profit Canopy Cat Rescue, hiking into the wilder sections of the Cascades. Her love of the outdoors and adventure in high places led her to Zunum Aero.
Petek Saracoglu
Petek Saracoglu
Petek Saracoglu is a Flight Sciences Engineer at Zunum Aero. Her passion for aviation traces back to discussions on gas turbines around the family table, and led her to a BS in Aerospace Engineering from MIT and an MS in Aeronautics from the University of Washington. Petek has always felt a drive to make air travel more accessible and sustainable, and joined Zunum Aero to make this a reality. Her love for altitude extends beyond work, to attacking tough climbing pitches and clocking flight hours towards her pilot’s license.


Ashish Kumar, Ph.D.
CEO, Zunum Aero

Matt Knapp
Aero Chief Engineer, Zunum Aero

Logan Jones
Managing Director, Boeing HorizonX

Warren Christie
SVP, Safety, Security and Training, JetBlue Airways

Advisory Board

Bonny Simi Venture and strategy

Ian Gilchrist Aerodynamics

Jayant Sabnis, Ph.D. Propulsion system

Leo Casey, Ph.D. Power engineering

Michael Friend Aircraft development

Oliver Masefield, Ph.D. Aircraft development

Pradeep Fernandes Disruptive innovation

Ranbir Singh, Ph.D. Power Electronics

Ron-Ho Ni, Ph.D. Propulsor development

Our Partners

Come build your future

If you have expertise in aircraft design, aeroacoustics, propulsors, electric drives, power conversion, battery packs, optimization and control, we’d love to hear from you. Ping us at careers@zunum.aero or explore our current openings on LinkedIn.