Bye Aerospace has announced an all-electric aircraft with room for up to seven passengers plus one or two pilots. The aircraft, called the eFlyer 800, is said to have already received deposits from customers, however, it remains to be seen when delivery will take place.
The eFlyer 800 is said to be capable of speeds of up to 320 knots (593 km/h) and can fly up to 500 nautical miles (926 kilometres) on one battery charge (at a cruising speed of 280 knots/519 km/h) – plus 45 minutes IFR reserve.
In developing the eFlyer 800, Bye Aerospace is working with the French technology group Safran, which is supplying both the complete propulsion system with its “ENGINeUS” motors and the “GENeUSGRID” energy management system. The power of the motors is not mentioned, the Safran system covers the range from 50 kW up to 500 kW – or 1 MW with two motors. For the batteries, Bye relies on lithium-sulphur cells from Oxis Energy.
The eFlyer 800 is to have two motors and will be the manufacturers first aircraft. Further technical data are not yet public. According to initial simulations, the eFlyer 800 will be able to fly up to 35,000 feet – the equivalent of 10.6 kilometres. That is significantly more than comparable machines: The eight- to nine-seat aircraft segment is mainly dominated by propeller-driven machines with turboprop or piston engines. However, these engines lose power with increasing altitude (and oxygen content in the air), which limits the flight altitude. Electric motors have no such power loss.
This would be a “huge leap in terms of range and speed” compared to Bye Aerospace’s previous projects. So far, the company offers the four-seat eFlyer 4 and the two-seat eFlyer 2 – micro-aircrafts that can only be used commercially to a limited extent. Quantum Air is planning an air taxi service with these aircraft. The eFlyer 800, on the other hand, could poach “in the territories of traditional aircraft manufacturers” with its data.
“The eFlyer 800 is the first all-electric propulsion technology airplane that achieves twin-turboprop performance and safety with no CO2 and extremely low operating costs,” says George E. Bye, founder and CEO of the company. “This type of remarkable economy and performance is made possible by the electric propulsion system and advanced battery cell technology that results in significantly higher energy densities.”
Bye Aerospace says there are already customers who have secured delivery positions for the eFlyer 800 by placing a deposit. However, it remains to be seen when they will be able to take delivery of the first eFlyer 800s: A timetable for the project has not yet been set. Thus, it is unclear when the first flight or even commercial use could begin.
Bye Aerospace is still working on the FAA certification of the eFlyer 2 and eFlyer 4. For these two models, Bye also uses Safran engines and Oxis Energy batteries.