A $300 million investment to make the U.S. more fuel efficient
A California startup is aiming to turn a car that costs about $500,000 into a gas-powered jetliner that can make it to the U, cheaper than a trip to the airport.
The company, Airplane Motors, plans to launch the “journey to greener skies” with a $300-million investment by a consortium of investors led by venture capitalist Peter Thiel and entrepreneur John McAfee.
The venture capital firm, Founders Fund, has invested in several other ventures in the space, including Uber, which has raised more than $60 million to date.
Thiel and McAfee are known for their controversial politics and aggressive take on technology.
The Palo Alto-based company hopes to capitalize on the global trend toward more efficient cars by offering passengers the option of driving in a car of their choice.
It has been working on a version of the concept for years, but is now hoping to launch its first aircraft in 2018.
The airline industry has been in transition as airlines seek to make their fleets more fuel-efficient, but aviation is not the only sector facing new challenges.
The United States has experienced an oil glut in recent years and many airlines are seeking to diversify away from fuel-sucking planes.
Airbus is building a new fleet of Boeing 787 Dreamliners, a sleek, all-electric jet that will be built to accommodate the new technology.
The aircraft will be made by Bombardier, the Quebec-based aerospace giant that is the world’s largest producer of jet engines.
Airlines are also considering new routes, such as taking longer trips to more distant destinations, to avoid the pollution that comes with a plane.
The idea of a jetliner made with carbon-neutral fuel is a big leap for Airplane.
It would cost less than a ticket to fly to the destination, it said.
In addition to the jet, Airplanes hopes to build a small plane that can take off from a parking lot and land at an airport, refuel and refuel again.
Aerojet will begin production of the fuel-saving jet in 2019.
The $300,000 jet, called Airplane-100, will be the first jet that can fly in a low-pressure, high-speed configuration that can reduce fuel consumption by up to 75 percent, according to the company.
Airplane will use an advanced battery that could produce power from the air, but the company said the plane could also be powered by solar power.
The battery is capable of storing up to 100,000 hours of energy in a tank of compressed hydrogen, which is the fuel in the jet.
To meet the environmental goals of the jet and help keep it green, AirPlanes engineers will also make modifications to the plane, including adding more wings and engines to the fuselage.
AirPlanes will have to raise $1.5 billion in funding to get the jet into production, according with its website.