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Bye Aerospace on April 22 unveiled the eight-seat, all-electric, twin turbo-prop class eFlyer 800 airplane. According to the eFlyer family manufacturer, the eFlyer 800 was designed “in response to growing demands for regional, all-electric airplanes” at lower operating costs — one fifth of the cost of traditional twin turboprops, in fact. This is thanks to the reduced cost of electricity compared to aviation fuel, and the low-maintenance electric motors. Bye Aerospace said the plane’s design is entirely new, “from tip to tail,” and boasts increased capacity and decreased noise.
The eFlyer 800 — which features a capacity ideally suited for “up to seven passengers and one or two pilots” — has already enticed deposit agreements with multiple air taxi, air cargo, and charter operators. The company said details of those agreements will be announced once finalized.
Bye Aerospace CEO and former U.S. Air Force pilot, George E. Bye, said: “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.
“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,” he added.
According to a press release from Bye Aerospace, the eFlyer 800 will have an estimated cruise speed up to 320 knots with a maximum range of 500 nautical miles. As noted in an article in Forbes, “that would be less than a third the range of a King Air 260, but Bye argues that’s more than enough for the needs of the vast majority of turboprop operators.” Other performance estimates include a normal cruise speed of 280 knots, ceiling of 35,000 feet, and maximum payload of 1,540 pounds (700 kilograms).
Bye Aerospace revealed a number of safety features on the eFlyer 800, including two wing-mounted electric motors, each with dual redundant motor windings; quad-redundant battery packs; and a full airplane parachute. More potential features could include an emergency auto-landing system, artificial intelligence, and an option for supplemental power solar cells and in-wheel electric taxi, the company said.
Bye Aerospace projects that the eFlyer 800 “will eventually eliminate the release of millions of metric tons of CO2 each year” through the eventual replacement of general aviation fleets.
Regarding the aircraft’s electric powertrain, Bye Aerospace said it is currently assessing the most efficient option with Safran Electrical & Power.
“Safran product lines with the ENGINeUS [electric] motors (rated from 50kW to 500kW/1MW), and GENeUSGRID [electric distribution and network protection system] perfectly fit with the Bye Aerospace portfolio of e-aircraft,” said Hervé Blanc, Safran executive vice president and general manager, Power.
In November 2020, Bye Aerospace and Safran Electrical & Power announced a cooperative agreement to equip the Bye Aerospace eFlyer 2 and eFlyer 4 aircraft with Safran’s ENGINeUS electric smart motors.
“Building upon our successful cooperation on eFlyer2 and eFlyer4, we are very proud to bring our best expertise to support Bye Aerospace in the design of the new eFlyer 800,” added Blanc.
Bye Aerospace said it is in the process of obtaining FAA part 23 certification for the eFlyer 2 to serve professional flight training missions, and the four-seat eFlyer 4 for air taxi, cargo, and advanced training uses.
As for the eFlyer 800, CEO Bye told Forbes he believes “he can bring the plane to market somewhere between late 2024 and 2026.”