NASA Freely Shares X57 Lessons

Dean Sigler Batteries, Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

NASA and several partner firms have been working on the X-57 Maxwell electric propulsion demonstrator for the past several years.  It hasn’t been as easy as it looked at first.  Encouragingly, NASA is sharing some of the hard lessons it has learned in the process, much like Elon Musk sharing many of his patents with the world. One of the hardest lessons involved the multiple battery packs, originally planned to be off-the-shelf units.  A December 2016 test resulted in a thermal runaway, a situation in which one cell that overheats can self-destruct and cause adjacent cells to follow suit.  This, as we’ve seen in Dreamliner incidents, can be dangerous and potentially deadly.  Such fires are exceedingly well reported, with any Tesla …

Safe BVLOS Operations

Dean Sigler Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

Out of Sight, but Not Out of Mind Simulyze, Inc. devises data-based application, analysis, and management programs for “Large streams of data from various sources in relation to BVLOS, and visualizes all aspects of multiple flight operations in a single, customized graphical interface,” their Mission Insight application. BVLOS – Beyond Visual Line of Sight – may become the most important abbreviation in the unmanned aerial system’s (UAS’s) lexicon. It has only been a few years since a George Bye-initiated program put the Silent Falcon solar-assisted drone on missions in Canada by Silent Vectors. Those missions involved checking on the health of oil and natural gas pipelines, surveilling wildfires, and daring other far-flung forays. Obviously, having a drone beyond visual and …

Sun Flyer 2 to be Powered by Siemens Motor

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

George Bye has been enjoying a year filled with great expectations (and accomplishments).  With 121 deposits on the Bye Aerospace Sun Flyer 2 from seven countries, the training aircraft needs only two things to make dreams come true for a large number of people – a motor and FAA certification. Siemens Steps In In a joint press release, Bye, CEO of Bye Aerospace, announced a partnership with Siemens that will see the German firm “collaborate on future development of Bye Aerospace’s Sun Flyer 2.” Bye explained, “We are pleased to announce an agreement with Siemens to provide the electric propulsion motor and inverter for the Sun Flyer program.  They will be an active partner through the FAA certification and production …

Following More Money

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Hybrid Aircraft, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

With Uber backing several potential urban flyers, other investors are moving to invest in longer-range craft with smaller, but more exclusive markets. Zunum and JetSuite Sign a Sweet Deal With funding from Boeing’s Horizon X and Jet Blue Technology Ventures, and Washington State’s Clean Energy Fund,  Zunum Aero’s initial batch of hybrid electric aircraft will fly in the livery of JetSuite, a private aviation company that’s a partner of JetBlue Airways. JetSuite’s current offerings include aircraft, “Ranging from the four-passenger Embraer Phenom 100s to the large-cabin, 13-passenger Legacy 650 to our JetSuiteX edition, 30-seat Embraer 135s, the JetSuite fleet offers our clients a variety of options for their aviation needs.” Members and customers can find scheduled flights within JetSuiteX’s California and …

Sunflyer Takes to the Air

Dean Sigler Announcements, Batteries, Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

Following assorted powerplant and taxi texts, the prototype Sun Flyer 2 prototype took to the air over Centennial Airport (KAPA) south of Denver, Colorado.  Further tests will expand speed, altitude, and endurance capabilities, according to Bye Aerospace. George Bye, Founder and CEO of Bye Aerospace, enthused, “We are excited about the future and the potential the Sun Flyer family of aircraft has to revolutionize general aviation, providing improved affordability and accessibility.  Lower operating costs are key to solving the student pilot drop-out rate, which is curtailing the successful attainment of badly needed airline pilots. The Sun Flyer 2’s $3 hourly operating costs are 10 times lower than traditional piston-engine flight trainers, with no carbon emissions and significantly reduced noise.” Such …

George Bye is a Busy Electrical Entrepreneur

Dean Sigler Hybrid Aircraft, Solar Power, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

George Bye, with his namesake company, Bye Aerospace, is involved in projects ranging from solar-powered drones to 345 mph VTOL cross-country cruisers. Following the Money People are betting on the plausible success of George’s SunFlyer 2, built by subsidiary Aero Electric Aircraft Corp. (AEAC), and he’s received deposits on 105 of the two-seat training craft. Due for release in the next two years, one prototype nears test flights this year. As its capabilities are demonstrated, Spartan College of Aeronautics and Technology might increase its initial reservation for 25 SunFlyers.  Think of the impact this will have on flight training schools when SunFlyers and Alpha Electros begin delivering new pilots. George did a great job of extolling the virtues of electric …

Sun Flyer’s Two and Four Seat Electric Aircraft

Dean Sigler Announcements, Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

George Bye has spent the last decade developing a viable two-seat training aircraft that would be electrically powered.  His efforts included a Cessna 172 that took wing on battery power, and have evolved to the current product, a sleek two-seater that has 105 deposits to buy worldwide. At AirVenture 2017, George displayed the Sun Flyer 2 and announced plans to introduce a four-seater, the Sun Flyer 4.  With ground tests complete on the aircraft and its 45-pound Emrax motor, George envisions flight tests coming this fall for the 2.  Even given successful flight tests, certification may take two to three years.  George has been working with the FAA to enable certification under Part 23 rules, and has made great headway …

 George Bye – Electric Aerospace in Small, Medium and Large

Dean Sigler Electric Aircraft Components, Hybrid Aircraft, Solar Power, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

George Bye has been crafting and testing electric aircraft for the last decade and now has four craft of varying size demonstrating the reach of his vision.  Bill Moore interviewed George for EVWorld.com recently.  We’ll review the airplanes with which George is involved, starting small and working up to a spectacular cross-country cruiser. Silent Falcon Although the UAV company associated with the Silent Falcon is not part of Bye Aerospace, it had its origins there.  Now located in Albuquerque, New Mexico, Silent Falcon operations are overseen by John Brown, former Chief Financial Officer (CFO) for Bye Energy. Silent Falcon’s glider-like 14-foot wing, high efficiency airfoil, electric power and high-efficiency solar cells allow up to five-hour surveillance flights.  Its ability to …

Sun Flyer Rollout

Dean Sigler Batteries, Electric Powerplants, Solar Power, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

Yesterday, George Bye’s Aero Electric Aircraft Company (AEAC) rolled out its Sun Flyer, an electric two-seat training aircraft with photo-voltaic cells on the wing and tail to extend its range, and over two or three days, recharge its batteries.  With orders for 65 Sun Flyers already on the books, interest is high in this airplane. In an email, George informed your editor that, “We’re using the Enstroj Emrax 268 high voltage electric motor, rated at 100 kW and 400 volts nominal.  Of course, the motor ‘throttle’ is electronic.” He responded to a query about battery monitoring and protection: “Battery safety is multi-fold.  We monitor cells individually, cells within each ‘battery box’, (with electronic disconnect), battery box system electronic and mechanical …

Germany to Two Places in Austria – On Solar Wings

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 1 Comment

e-Genius spent July 4 crossing the Alps both ways from Germany to Italy, a first for a two-seat, battery-powered airplane.  Although the Elektra One Solar from PC-Aero GmbH is lighter and seats only one, its flights starting two weeks before and ending two days before e-Genius’s journey are equally proud accomplishments. The outgoing flight started in Unterwössen, Germany on June 25, crossed over the Grossglockner and landed, according to PC-Aero’s description, “In the sunny town of Lienz in East Tyrol, Austria.  The flight took around 2.5 hours. After the successful flight on the south side of the Alps, Elektra One Solar started [on its next trip] on 2 July (few days before the eGenius of the University of Stuttgart also flew …