OXIS Energy, Bye Aerospace Develop Lithium-Sulfur Cells

Dean Sigler Batteries, Sustainable Aviation Leave a Comment

Diane Simard, Senior Vice President and a member of the Board of Directors for Bye Aerospace, sends your editor occasional news from that company.  The latest involves a collaboration with OXIS Energy in England to develop new Lithium-Sulfur battery cell technology that shows great, and (even better) near-term promise. Ready to start in September, the project will develop cells that will, ”Achieve the higher energy density required for such aircraft,” referring to Bye’s eFlyer 2 and eFlyer 4 light aircraft.  A big jump over currently available batteries, OXIS is now evaluating cells that produce 400 Watt-hours per kilogram, with a promised leap to 500 kW-hr by next year.  The best lithium-ion cells at the pack level available now manage 260 …

A 2/3-Scale XTI TriFan 600 Hovers Successfully

Dean Sigler Electric Aircraft Components, Electric Powerplants, Sky Taxis, Sustainable Aviation Leave a Comment

XTI’s TriFan 600 recently flew as a TriFan 665, for the 65-percent test concept vehicle.  There are good reasons for a first flight on this reduced scale, including being able to use smaller motors and batteries, less material, and possibly simplified systems. On May 8, 2019, XTI Aircraft announced that they had successfully completed the first test flights of its 65% scale prototype of the TriFan 600 VTOL aircraft:  The 2/3 concept machine, built on the local Experimental Aircraft Association’s turf, elicits some wonder because none of the chapter’s recent newsletters or Facebook posts mentioned that this project was underway.  Having worked in a design/build architectural-engineering firm, your editor knows all too well what the phrase “confidential client” means.  Chapter 512, knowing …

BlackBird Air, Bye Aerospace Add to eFlyer Sales

Dean Sigler Announcements, Diesel Powerplants, Electric Powerplants, Sky Taxis, Sustainable Aviation Leave a Comment

BlackBird Air, Inc., an on-demand flight service operating out of San Carlos, California, has announced it intends to buy 100 eFlyer 4s and 10 eFlyer 2s from Bye Aerospace.  These will augment the firm’s existing fleet of Cirrus SR22s and Pilatus PC12s in providing service to its customers. As the San Francisco Chronicle explains, BlackBird has been called “the Uber of air travel,” an app-driven service that enables flights to cities like Burbank, Palm Springs and Las Vegas.  Sarah Feldberg, writing for the Chronicle, runs through the niceties of this different plane rental approach.  “The interface operates like any trip-booking app until you’ve selected your date and destination. Then, BlackBird prompts you to either join an existing flight or create …

Bye eFlyer Sales Near 300

Dean Sigler Announcements, Electric Powerplants, Solar Power, Sustainable Aviation Leave a Comment

Diane Simard, Director and Senior Vice President at Bye Aerospace, keeps your editor updated on happenings at the maker of what were SunFlyers, and which are now eFlyers.  The rebranding makes sense.   In their press release for the eFlight Expo in Friedrichshafen, Germany on April 11, the company included this explanation.  “George E. Bye, Founder and CEO of Bye Aerospace, said eFlyer more accurately represents the aircraft’s high-tech all-electric propulsion system. ‘We originally thought solar cells would be standard on the airplane’s wings,’ Bye said. ‘However, with eFlyer’s primary markets being flight training and air taxi services, it makes more sense to make the price of the airplane as reasonable as possible.’” Bye Aerospace’s primary market is growing, with orders for 60 …

Big Events and Numbers for Bye Aerospace

Dean Sigler Announcements, Electric Powerplants, Solar Power, Sustainable Aviation Leave a Comment

Bye Aerospace has four big current projects, with the Sunflyer 2 at the top of the development and sales curve.  Teaming with Siemens, Bye Aerospace is now flying Sunflyer 2 with one of their 57 pound SP70D motors producing a 90 kilowatt peak rating (120 HP), and continuous power up to 70kW (94 HP). Bye anticipates that Sunflyer 2 will be, “the first FAA-certified, practical, all-electric airplane to serve the flight training and general aviation markets.”  George Bye, the company’s founder and CEO has been working with Agency for several years on devising rules for electric aircraft certification. The need for 790,000 new pilots in the next few decades will drive the need for training aircraft.  An aging fleet with …

NASA Freely Shares X57 Lessons

Dean Sigler Batteries, Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation Leave a Comment

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 Leave a Comment

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 Leave a Comment

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 Leave a Comment

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.” https://vimeo.com/270392646 Members and customers can find scheduled flights within JetSuiteX’s California …

Sunflyer Takes to the Air

Dean Sigler Announcements, Batteries, Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation Leave a Comment

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 …