Sun Flyer Program Progresses as Big Order is Announced

Siemens motor is being installed in all-electric airplane.

sun flyer 2 prototype
A Siemens motor is being installed in the Sun Flyer 2, which took its first flight in April.Bye Aerospace

Bye Aerospace announced that it is in the process of installing a Siemens motor in the two-seat Sun Flyer 2 proof-of-concept, which first flew in April. The 90kW motor provides the equivalent of 115 hp, which will power the all-electric airplane to 135 knots, said Bye Aerospace's president and CEO, George Bye. Power is stored in seven massive batteries, five in the nose section and two in the back.

In the current configuration, the Sun Flyer can fly for up to 3.5 hours at lower power setting, producing about 70 knots, with VFR and depth of charge reserves. Bye said normal cruise speeds would produce a range of around 250 nm. The energy cost per flight hour is expected to be as low as $3.

Bye Aerospace also announced it has secured 30 orders for the Sun Flyer 2 from Aspen Flying Club, which is based at the same airport as Bye Aerospace - Centennial Airport (APA) in the outskirts of Denver. The company will provide customer feedback to help with the introduction of the progressive airplane.

“We are excited to join Bye Aerospace to become their training partner at Centennial Airport,” said Aspen Flying Club’s owner, Greg Garvis. “The opportunity to train new owners in such an exciting new aircraft is a true honor for Aspen Flying Club. The addition of the Sun Flyer to our fleet at Centennial Airport continues our tradition of being on the leading edge of providing quality aircraft to the pilot community.”

Aspen Flying Club is not the first flight school to sign up for the Sun Flyer. Spartan College signed up for 20 Sun Flyers in the early days of development. The Sun Flyer 2 will be able to fly two to three flight training sorties without recharging. With a super charger a full charge can be achieved in as little as 20 minutes.

Bye expects certification for the Sun Flyer 2 in 2020. The price for the airplane is $289,000 and the company has taken about 150 deposits to date.