Bye Aerospace says it’s about to hit another major milestone in the certification of its eFlyer 2 electrically powered trainer aircraft.
The Denver-based start-up is nearing the completion of FAA approval for its means of compliance and certification plans, the company announced last week. This puts it on track to have the first all-electric, fixed-wing aircraft to be certified under the FAA’s Part 23 Amendment 64 regulations.
Bye has already received FAA approval for 15 of the 16 system-specific certification plans (SSCPs) for the full means of compliance certification, and it expects the last one to be approved by the end of July, the company said. Once all the SSCPs are approved, Bye will be ready to begin the testing and compliance demonstration phases of certification.
Testing has already begun on the structure, the production-conformed Siemens motor, aircraft components such as the main wing spar assembly, and other subsystems, George Bye, founder and CEO of Bye Aerospace, told FutureFlight.
Bye added that the testing and compliance demonstration work could take more than two years and will require the company to produce three fully production-conformed flight test aircraft. "Once these are ready and company ground and flight test has progressed to an appropriate hand-off point, integration of flight testing with the FAA will begin," he said.
Bye is developing the two-seat eFlyer 2 and four-seat eFlyer 4 to be used for flight training and other commercial applications, like passenger charter flights. The company is also working on a larger, eight-seat eFlyer 800.
As with the other eFlyer models, the eFlyer 2 is built to be highly efficient and cost-effective. Bye says the eFlyer 2 has more than double the aerodynamic efficiency of traditional aircraft similar in size, and the aircraft’s Safran 100-kW Engineus electric smart motors will have a high efficiency rating of 94 percent.
Bye is also working with the British company Oxis Energy to develop lithium-sulfur batteries that could potentially allow the aircraft to fly up to twice as long on a single charge compared with traditional lithium-ion batteries.
The eFlyer 2 will be able to remain aloft for up to three hours at a cruise speed of 155 mph (250 km/h) and a maximum altitude of 14,000 feet (4,300 meters).
Between the eFlyer 2 and eFlyer 4, Bye has received more than 700 purchase deposits, according to the company’s website. The base price of the eFlyer 2 is $489,000, while the base price of the eFlyer 4 is $627,000. Bye told FutureFlight that the company already has a $1 billion backlog of provisional orders and that it has begun collecting deposits from customers for the eFlyer 2.