North America-based fractional ownership provider Jet It and its European affiliate JetClub are the launch customers for the recently introduced eFlyer 800 all-electric, cabin-class airplane, Bye Aerospace confirmed today.
In April, Bye unveiled plans to move into the business aviation market with the eFlyer 800, which will be powered by a pair of Safran's new Engineus electric motors. It will be able to carry seven passengers and fly up to 500 nm (575 miles) with 45-minute IFR reserves and have a cruise speed of up to 320 knots (368 mph).
The Denver-based manufacturer had said at the time that it already had “customer deposits agreements” in hand from undisclosed air taxi, charter, and cargo operators in the U.S. and Europe.
Revealing its initial customers with today’s announcement, Bye Aerospace said Jet It and JetClub signed a purchase agreement for a fleet of eFlyer 800 aircraft. The announcement, which did not detail the number of firm orders, added that the agreement additionally includes a number of eFlyer 800 purchase options, along with four eFlyer 4 airplane purchase deposits.
As launch customers, Jet It founder and CEO Glenn Gonzales and JetClub founder and CEO Vishal Hiremath will join Bye Aerospace’s Strategic Advisory Council for the eFlyer.
“As an aviation company run by aviators, we believe electric propulsion is the next major innovation in air travel, and Bye Aerospace will be one of the very few manufacturers able to certify an environmentally sustainable aircraft that meets the needs of our expanding customer base,” Gonzales said.
“Sustainability is a core pillar of the JetClub philosophy,” added Hiremath. “With the addition of the eFlyer 800 to our fleet, we take a leap forward in our sustainability goals.”
Bye Aerospace, which is targeting a 2025 certification date for the eFlyer 800, said the development of the aircraft comes in response to growing demands for all-electric regional aircraft options that can have increased capacity but lower operating costs over traditional turboprop aircraft.
The company estimates that the eFlyer 800 will operate at about one-fifth the costs of current twin turboprops. Aimed at the air taxi, cargo, regional, and charter markets, the eFlyer 800 will sport two wing-mounted electric motors, each with dual redundant motor windings, and be equipped with quad-redundant battery packs and a full airplane parachute. Bye is estimating a recharge time of between 20 and 30 minutes.
Other potential features of the eFlyer 800 include an emergency auto-landing system, an option for supplemental power solar cells, and in-wheel electric taxi.
While it moves forward on the eFlyer 800, Bye Aerospace is working toward Part 23 certification of its two- and four-seat electric aircraft, the eFlyer 2 and eFlyer 4.