This week, Aero Electric Aircraft Corp. (AEAC) unveiled the first proof-of-concept prototype of its Sun Flyer aircraft, a solar-electric general aviation flight trainer, at a rollout event at Centennial Airport in Denver.
AEAC CEO and founder George Bye says the POC prototype will be used to finalize the Sun Flyer’s design, the first of many steps to achieve FAA certification and begin production of the aircraft. At the event, Bye extended special thanks to Peter Harris, CEO of Spartan College of Aeronautics and Technology. Spartan, a key development partner that reserved the first 20 Sun Flyer deliver positions, has reserved five additional Sun Flyer airplanes.
AEAC also announced a new strategic partnership with the University of Denver’s Daniel Felix Ritchie School of Engineering & Computer Science. “We anticipate collaborative efforts on a variety of potential platforms, given our mutual interests in electric propulsion and unmanned aerial systems,” Bye said.
Running entirely on solar-electric power, the Sun Flyer is intended to reduce the environmental impact and cost of flying. Jerry Gregoire of Redbird Flight says the costs associated with learning to fly have had a significant impact on aviation. Redbird Flight has partnered with AEAC to create a comprehensive pilot training program for the Sun Flyer. “In looking for solutions to lower the cost of training, this is a very important piece of learning how to bring the costs of flying down,” Gregoire says.