Dallas/Chicago — Boeing and JetBlue Airways are investing in a start-up developing an electric-powered aircraft with the potential to transform short-haul flights. Zunum Aero is designing and building 10-to 50-seat planes for trips of about 1,100km initially and as much as 1,600km by 2030. The aircraft would fill a "vast regional transport gap" and reduce travel times in busy corridors by as much as 40%, and 80% in areas with less traffic, Zunum said on Wednesday. Boeing and JetBlue are joining a rush by aviation and aerospace companies to scout investments in early-stage ventures and keep tabs on technology with the potential to transform transportation. European maker Airbus Group created a fund, capitalised with an initial $150m commitment, and opened a Silicon Valley centre in 2015. "Our charter is looking beyond the horizon,’’ said Steve Nordlund, who heads Boeing HorizonX, the Chicago-based manufacturer’s new venture-capital arm. "We’re looking at traditional and nontraditiona...

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