The prototype Sun Flyer 2 electrically powered fixed-wing trainer made its first flight on April 10, Bye Aerospace announced this week at Sun ’n‘ Fun.
“We had a fantastic first flight,” said Charlie Johnson, Bye Aerospace president.
Bye Aerospace intends for the Sun Flyer series, including the Sun Flyer 2 and the four-seat Sun Flyer 4, to be the first FAA-certified, U.S.-sponsored, all-electric airplanes to serve the flight training and general aviation markets.
The prototype aircraft flew at Centennial Airport (KAPA), south of Denver, Colorado.
George Bye, founder and CEO of Bye Aerospace, said, “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 $3 hourly operating costs are 10 times lower than [those of] 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 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 Flyers.
The company is also developing advanced, high-altitude, long-endurance solar-electric unmanned aerial vehicles under the name “StratoAirNet.”