Good days have arrived for electric aviation company Bye Aerospace, which has announced 60 Sun Flyer 2 electric airplanes have been sold to OSM Aviation. The company is also announcing a name switch from Sun Flyer to eFlyer.
OSM Aviation, a Norwegian company, previously used the Sun Flyer for training at its flight training centers, as we reported before. We spoke to George Bye, founder and CEO of Bye Aerospace, who said the company has received so far a total of 298 prospective inquiries for its eFlyer 2 and eFlyer 4.
Bye Aerospace, From Sun Flyer To eFlyer
In April 2018, Bye Aerospace announced the successful maiden flight of the eFlyer 2, and in February of this year the eFlyer took off for the first time with its 70 kW continuous and 90 kW Siemens electric motors. With a 3½ to 4 hours flight time and designed for general aviation (GA), the eFlyer is affordable and easy to maintain, which makes it a perfect pilot trainer in busy aviation schools due to its low-noise.
Why the change from “Sun Flyer” to “eFlyer?” According to George, the latter designation better represents the all-electric propulsion system of the aircraft. “We originally thought solar cells would be standard on the airplane’s wings. However, with Flyers’ primary markets being flight training and air taxi services, it makes more sense to make the price of the airplane as reasonable as possible.”
Last we spoke to him, he told us the eFlyer technically was an Orion aircraft built under contract with a Siemens electric motor. At the time of our conversation, the then-Sun Flyer used 260 Wh/g lithium-ion 18650 cells as well as 300 Wh/g 217000 cells from LG Chem.
Lastly, George told us he had no plans for an eVTOL when an e-plane works well for now.
Bye Aerospace is also in talks with another Norwegian company, named Elfly, that has increased its orders with advance payments for 10 to 18.
According to FlyingMag, George Bye said:
“The certification and first deliveries of the eFlyer2 start about two years from now. Our key strategic partners, Siemens (motor) and EP Systems (battery packs), are working closely with us at FAA meetings as we proceed with the certification process that began in April 2018, when we made the FAR Part 23 type certificate application. The eFlyer2 was the first created under the new rules allowing for an electric trainer.”
That was followed by Bjørn Granviken, CEO of the OSM Aviation Academy, saying:
“We’re training the next generation of pilots, and are determined to attract the best candidates. We offer a forward-looking education which they can be proud to take part in. This order for 60 all-electric aircraft is a key step in that respect.”
Who would have thought electric air mobility would have come this early, creating a new frontier of urban air mobility (UAM)? Bye and a handful of entrepreneurs are pushing the boundaries of electric flight, each in a different way. They will integrate well under a unified UAM plan.
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