Bye Aerospace’s prototype solar-electric-powered Sun Flyer 2 aircraft had its first flight earlier this month.
The prototype aircraft flight test programme, which began in late March, is being conducted at Centennial Airport (KAPA), south of Denver, Colorado, and is now progressing to increased speed, altitude and endurance capabilities.
George Bye, Founder and CEO of Bye Aerospace, said: “We are excited about the future and the potential the Sun Flyer family of aircraft has to revolutionise general aviation, providing improved affordability and accessibility.”
The Sun Flyer 2 and the 4-seat Sun Flyer 4 will serve the flight training and general aviation markets.
Bye added: “Lower operating costs are key to solving the student pilot drop-out rate, which is curtailing the successful attainment of badly needed airline pilots. The Sun Flyer 2’s $3 hourly operating costs are 10 times lower than traditional piston-engine flight trainers, with no carbon emissions and significantly reduced noise.”
EP Systems provided the energy storage system for the Sun Flyer 2 prototype aircraft being flight tested, including battery modules (packs), battery management unit and power distribution unit. The battery cells are LG Chem “MJ1” lithium-ion battery cells with a 260 Wh/kg energy density. Bye Aerospace will soon announce who its electric motor partner will be for the family of FAA-certified Sun Flyer aircraft.