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Bye Aerospace, which is developing a variety of electric aircraft models, has generated “overwhelming” interest from the aviation training sector with the signing of four Letters of Intent (LOIs) by “leading” aviation training companies. These agreements secure a staggering 340 eFlyer aircraft developed by Bye Aerospace.
While the manufacturer did not specify which training companies it recently signed LOIs with, Bye Aerospace has received orders from Skye Aviation, KLM Flight Academy, and elibird aero over the past few years.
“We are thrilled to witness such a remarkable level of interest from key players in the aviation training sector,” said Tom Calgaard, senior vice-president of Bye Aerospace. “This overwhelming response reaffirms the industry’s need for cost-effective, sustainable, efficient, and forward-thinking training solutions. Our eFlyer aircraft not only aligns with these requirements but also sets new benchmarks for excellence in electric aviation.”
Bye Aerospace’s eFlyer line of electric aircraft includes the eFlyer 2, eFlyer 4, and eFlyer 800. None have entered into service yet, but the first model is the closest to production — having recently achieved several certification milestones with the Federal Aviation Administration.
The eFlyer 2 is a two-seat training aircraft designed to replace aging training fleets. According to company founder George E. Bye, the eFlyer 2 is to be certified under 14 CFR Part 23, and will have the full utility of a Cessna 172 or Piper Archer.
In an email to Skies, Bye said the company’s “immediate priority is on production conforming Serial #001 assembly, which sets the stage for the test fleet and final certification steps.”
Featuring the Safran ENGINeUS 100 electric motor, the eFlyer 2 has a range of 220 nautical miles at 96 knots and at 10,000 feet (subject to change). In April 2023, Bye Aerospace announced that it selected Crane Aerospace & Electronics to supply its High Voltage DC-DC Converter for the eFlyer 2.
The aircraft has up to 80 per cent lower flight operating costs compared to conventional trainers, allowing flight schools to cut down on fuel expenses. When equipped with standard options, the eFlyer 2 is likely to be priced around US$500,000.
The next model, the eFlyer 4, is a four-seat electric aircraft that will offer a more advanced training platform than the eFlyer 2, and is also being targeted towards the air taxi and utility markets. This aircraft is likely to be priced around US$700,000 with standard options.
Lastly, the eFlyer 800 is Bye Aerospace’s largest model. The twin-turboprop will be targeted towards the business and regional aviation market, featuring eight seats (1 or 2 pilots) in a business configuration, and up to 12 seats in a high-density configuration. The eFlyer 800 is likely to be priced at around US$5.5 million.
Bye told Skies that the eFlyer family has a healthy order backlog, with approximately 900 total units across all three models — including the recent LOIs.
Rod Zastrow, who was appointed president of Bye Aerospace in June 2023, emphasized the significance of the company’s latest announcement, stating, “The enthusiastic response from aviation training companies reaffirms our commitment to reshaping the aviation industry. Bye Aerospace is poised to make a significant impact on the future of aviation training.”