Bye Aerospace has started building series production examples of its two-seat, all-electric eFlyer 2 aircraft. The U.S. company said that the first three production aircraft will be used to support the completion of the final stages of FAA Part 23 type certification.
On January 26, Colorado-based Bye Aerospace also announced that it has signed a contract with Composites Universal Group covering assembly of the eFlyer 2’s fuselage. The Oregon-based company has more than 26 years of experience in making components and assemblies for experimental aircraft, as well as for a wide variety of aerospace, transportation, marine, and industrial products. It made the fuselage for Airbus’s Vahana eVTOL technology demonstrator and is also involved in manufacturing unmanned aircraft.
Bye said it expects to complete type certification by the end of 2022, with approval for the four-seat eFlyer 4 aircraft to follow around 12 months later. However, during this week’s Vertical Flight Society Electric VTOL Symposium, Jay Merkle, executive director of the FAA’s UAS Integration Office, indicated that some new electric aircraft may achieve certification before the end of 2021. The front runners are likely to include fixed-wing designs that can be certificated under existing rules, such as Part 23.
“We continue to make advances in the certification process,” said Bye Aerospace CEO George Bye. “These activities commence production of the first conforming eFlyer 2, the first of three conforming eFlyer 2 aircraft that will be used to help complete final FAA certification.”
According to Bye, the company has completed the critical design review and is now completing agreements for system-specific certification plans with FAA officials. He said that plans for high-rate production ramp-up will be announced later this year, with final assembly to be conducted at its headquarters near Denver.
The eFlyer 2 is primarily intended for applications such as flight training. Bye has purchase agreements covering more than 700 of the aircraft, which will be powered by Safran’s ENGINeUS 100 electric motors, which will be certified under FAA's Part 33 rules.