Bye Aerospace’s prototype Sun Flyer 2 is a small electric plane and it took to the skies recently. Its maiden flight was completed on April 10 at Centennial Airport south of Denver, Colorado. It has a gross weight of 860 kg. The two-seater prop-driven aircraft has a 3.5-hour flight duration owing to the six lithium-ion battery packs.
The maiden flight of the Sun Flyer 2 is the first step in getting the full FAA certification. The tests are focused on the LG Chem MJ1 lithium-ion battery cells that have an energy density of 260 Wh/kg. They are designed for quick charging and provide increased speed, altitude, and endurance capabilities.
The prototype model is made out of lightweight composites, mainly carbon fiber. Other specifications include a bubble canopy, low-set cantilever wing, and a fixed tricycle undercarriage. It is propelled by a single electric motor in tractor configuration.
Bye Aerospace is also working on the Sun FLyer 4, which is a larger four-seater aircraft. They say that the Sun FLyer 2 is aimed towards the general aviation market and will come in real handy when it comes to pilot training. It’s low noise profile and low running costs make it the perfect vehicle for pilots to train on.
“We are excited about the future and the potential the Sun Flyer family of aircraft has to revolutionize general aviation, providing improved affordability and accessibility,” says George Bye, Founder, and CEO of Bye Aerospace. “Lower operating costs are key to solving the student pilot dropout rate, which is curtailing the successful attainment of badly needed airline pilots. The Sun Flyer 2’s three dollar hourly operating costs are 10 times lower than traditional piston-engine flight trainers, with no carbon emissions and significantly reduced noise.”