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GREENSBORO, N.C. (WGHP) — It’s such a simple statement but it represents a revolution.
“The electrification of aviation is what’s around the corner – it’s the next thing,” said Glenn Gonzales.
Gonzales is a former Air Force fighter pilot who, a few years ago, began the Greensboro-based company JetIt. JetIt is a private aviation company that has a fleet of smaller jets that can take groups of four to six anywhere they want to go.
Currently, they have partnered with the Triad-based Honda Jet to shake up the private aviation industry by producing cost-effective, private flights.
“What we do at JetIt is we help people get from A to B cost-effectively,” Gonzales said.
And much the way electric cars have changed automobile travel, Gonzales and his team at JetIt think it will do the same for aviation.
“We believe in this airplane, here behind us, built in Greensboro,” he said as he stood in front of a Honda Jet in a hangar at the Piedmont Triad Airport. “But we also believe in the electrification of aviation.”
Kimberly Pantuso added, “A lot has changed, a lot has changed in six years.”
Six years ago, Pantuso was graduating from Ragsdale High School in Jamestown, between Greensboro and High Point. After graduating with both an undergraduate and master’s degree from North Carolina State University, Pantuso then earned a second master’s degree from the SKEMA Business School in Paris.
She puts that education to work as a marketing expert for JetIt. Pantuso believes the newer, electric-powered planes JetIt plans to have in the air in the next few years both address JetIt’s goals of eliminating carbon emissions but also making air travel in the eight-seat planes JetIt has ordered from Bye Aerospace affordable to so many more people.
“When you think of professionals flying for work or their business, they fly first class. And when you get a team of six or so, that’s pretty expensive,” Pantuso said.
The Bye Aerospace model his company plans to fly is the eFlyer 800.
“The eFlyer 800 is about 1/5 the cost, per hour, to operate as compared to an equivalent turbo-prop aircraft,” Gonzales said.
“I believe Glenn actually referred to it as an air taxi,” Pantuso added.
The electric planes will have a range of about 500 miles or so, per electric charge, making them more for the Greensboro-to-Disney or San Francisco to Las Vegas routes.
They can be quickly recharged while you’re on the ground doing whatever you need to do.
“You can do that and turn that airplane around in an hour or less,” said Gonzales.
“Simply put, JetIt is the future of private aviation,” Pantuso said.
See why Glenn Gonzales believes the electric planes will be the safest in the air, in this edition of the Buckley Report.