Bye Aerospace first flew its initial prototype of the eFlyer 2 in April 2018, and since then it has been working through several iterations of the aerodynamic design, powerplant, battery system, and other components that will go into the eventual production version of the all-electric, two-seat aircraft.
Bye announced on Thursday that it has completed nearly all of its FAA-approved Means of Compliance and Certification Plans, with only one plan remaining to sign off (out of 16) that will form its basis for building a conforming prototype eFlyer 2.
The company has already received approval from the agency on its G-1 (Certification Basis) and G-2 (Determination of Compliance) issue papers—and they form what founder, chairman, and CEO George Bye calls “literally the checklist of the criteria for certification.” The system-specific certification papers (SSCPs) break down the parts of the process by each component of the airplane. Bye anticipates the final SSCP to be in place by the end of July.
“This is the gateway to a true fixed-wing commercial airplane,” said Bye in an interview with FLYING. “We’ll be first in the world to certify under Amendment 64,” he continued, referring to the FAA Part 23 guidance that covers Level 1 electric, fixed-wing aircraft.
With the approvals in hand, Bye Aerospace can move forward with partners such as Safran, Garmin, and Composites Universal Group (CUG) on the path to constructing the production test fleet, paving the way towards entry into the flight training market and other commercial applications.
Bye gives a nod to the FAA for persevering during challenging times—including the recent retirement and departure to industry of key people in the agency’s certification branch. Compounded with supply chain issues and emerging from the pandemic, the road has taken more time than anticipated, but Bye takes it in stride.
“We are very proud of our significant certification progress and appreciate the support and dedication of the FAA team working on this program,” Bye said.