Bye Aerospace, a leader in the all-electric flight market, raised $19.64 million of Series B venture funding from undisclosed investors last week, according to SEC filings.
In a statement Thursday, company CEO George Bye said, “Bye Aerospace intends to concentrate its resources in the further development of its aircraft and continued FAA Part-23 certification efforts.”
The privately held aircraft manufacturer based in Englewood, Colorado, raised a late stage $10 million, Series A from Fine Day Ventures and other undisclosed investors in March 2020.
During FLYING’s virtual event last week, Bye shared his thoughts on creating innovative electric designs and how advances in technology can improve savings as pilot demand and costs continue to grow.
Bye said FAA certification for the company’s electric eFlyer 2 will come in late 2022 or early 2023. Following that, Bye is expected to develop eFlyer 4, which will target advanced flight training and air taxi applications. Certification for eFlyer 4 is projected by 2024.
The larger, all-electric eFlyer800, with an expected capacity of nine passengers, is aimed at competing with fossil fuel powered aircraft. The eFlyer800 is expected to be certified in late 2025 or early 2026.
Established in 2007, Bye develops uncrewed aerial vehicles intended for surveying and mapping along with light aircraft for flight training. The company’s products use solar-electric configuration, structural, propulsion, and mechanical systems as well as aerodynamic advances, enabling clients to optimize their range and loiter time relative to current UAV designs.
Bye is part of an upswell of OEMswhich includes Pipistrel, Diamond, and others—that are launching and pivoting to electric aircraft as the industry searches for ways to eliminate carbon emissions.
Speaking during the FLYING virtual event, Bye said developments in electric propulsion and improved battery storage present a significant upside for the industry. This is especially true in the flight school sector, he said, where the energy profile of these combined systems would power typical two- to three-hour training missions.
Bye estimated that the combination of electric propulsion and better batteries could cut costs to one-fifth of current levels.
Bye, the innovator behind Bye Aerospace, has two decades of experience as an aerospace entrepreneur, engineer, and executive, balancing internal development with research of advanced concepts. He has developed several aircraft designs and is the driving force behind the concept and development of eFlyer 2, eFlyer 4, and eFlyer 800.
Previously, he led the company that launched and developed the Javelin, a transonic two-seat jet for military and civil applications. Bye also holds the design patent for the Javelin, which first flew in September 2005. He is a well-known pioneer and conceptual design engineer and has been asked to consult with major OEMs on their advanced development programs.