And it’s off to a good start for the Sun Flyer 2 and its Siemens electric motor. The electric airplane (e-plane) successfully accomplished its first test flight with the new electric motor.
Bye Aerospace has been busy the past few years furiously working on this e-plane, so the executives engineers must be over the moon about the electric Sun Flyer 2 completing its first official flight on February 8 at the Centennial Airport, south of Denver, Colorado.
Specifically, Bye Aerospace is focusing its flight testing on its propulsion system, envelope expansion, and systems optimization. It is using a 57 lb Siemens SP70D electric motor, which has a max power of 89.5 kW (120 HP) and a continuous power setting of up to 70 kW (94 HP).
Bye Aerospace is developing a couple of aircraft in the Sun Flyer family — a 2-seat Sun Flyer 2 and a 4-seat Sun Flyer 4, as we previously reported. The company wants to build the first FAA-certified, practical, all-electric airplanes to serve the flight training and general aviation markets.
Bye Aerospace competes with another e-plane maker, Pipistrel, which has its Alpha Electro. Stay tuned for an interview with Pipistrel execs, as well as electric flight leaders at Bye Aerospace and Siemens.
The FAA gave the Sun Flyer 2 FAR 23 certification last year in 2018. Bye Aerospace will continue testing of the Sun Flyer 2 prototype through 2019.
Regarding this test flight, according to George E. Bye, CEO of Bye Aerospace: “The airplane performed exactly as planned. My thanks to the entire Siemens team for their participation as we enter this next, important flight test phase of Sun Flyer 2 with the Siemens electric propulsion system.”
Siemens’ Prominent Role in the Electric Aviation Industry
Siemens and its electric motors play a big role in the electric aviation world, much like Bosch pushed along the electric bicycle (e-bike) world. Siemens has already tested 260 kW electric motors before on European e-planes. The truly good news is that it’s developing propulsion technology with a whopping 10MW of power, for commercial electric aircraft for the aviation transport sector. To date, Siemens electric motors have set at least two speed records — the first aero tow by an electric plane and a new world climb record with an altitude of 3,000 meters in 4 minutes and 22 seconds.
Dr. Frank Anton, Executive Vice President and Head of eAircraft, Siemens added:
“This successful test flight is a proud moment for the Siemens and Bye Aerospace teams and marks a milestone in bringing the age of electric flight to life. The Siemens electric propulsion system offers a clean, cost-efficient and silent propulsion alternative to the flight training market without compromising performance or safety.”
Electric Airplanes Are Closer Than You Think
The electric vehicle (EV) rEVolution has been seriously underway for the past decade, but mostly focused on land-bound vehicles. The maritime and aviation industries are now working more seriously on the electrification of vessels and aircraft, but in a different way from the automotive industry. But don’t be fooled just because you don’t yet see a Tesla airplane — Bye Aerospace and a few other electric flight pioneers are bringing electric urban air mobility close to us.
Via Flying Mag