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Cory Combs    

Cofounder of Ampaire

Cory Combs has been dreaming about airplanes his entire life, deciding at age five to become an aircraft engineer. But every time he flew on a plane, he was discouragingly aware of the environmental impact of air travel. In fact, for many of us, three-quarters of our individual emissions come from just a handful of long flights each year.

Then, an offhand reference to “supersonic electric jets” in an Iron Man movie got him thinking. The Stanford-trained engineer put pen to paper and found that, with recent improvements in battery technology, building a cleaner, electric jet was possible— and that, with an innovative hybrid approach, he could help jumpstart the entire market for electric air travel.

In 2016, Combs co-founded the electric aviation company, Ampaire and, this past June, his team completed a historic demonstration of its new, hybrid-electric jet, the Ampaire Electric EEL. Now, Ampaire is preparing to test a commercial route with Mokulele Airlines in Hawaii by the end of the year, bringing the reality of clean, accessible air travel closer than ever before.

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