Silent Falcon in Production

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

Bye Aerospace has announced initial production its small unmanned aircraft system, the Silent Falcon™.  Produced by Silent Falcon UAS Technologies (SFUAS), a former subsidiary of Bye Aerospace, Inc., the Silent Falcon is a mere 25 pounds, but is able to perform six- to 12-hour missions on a mix of battery and solar power. The airplane, of all composite construction, will serve both military and civilian markets, with its small size and quiet operation able to serve well in either capacity.  Its size and weight are virtues in a competitive market, giving “unprecedented performance and value… ready for the market place,” and already in “low rate initial production,” according to John Brown, President of SFUAS.  He adds that “sales teams are …

EAS VIII – A Day and a Half You’ll Never Forget

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

Who would pass up a chance to stay at a nice resort, attend lectures that challenge and inspire, and meet at poolside with speakers who bring some of the sharpest minds in the world to bear on some of the biggest problems we all face?  Let’s face it.  Global warming probably won’t be going away anytime soon, and aviation seems destined to play a bigger part in polluting our otherwise near-perfect atmosphere. Unless…we learn how to make our favorite activity (in the top five for most of us, anyway), into a more responsible way to travel and recreate.  Since solving the problems which go with that responsibility will involve the best in aerodynamics, power systems and new, efficient technology, the …

Bye Aerospace Provides Stratospheric Persistence

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 2 Comments

George Bye, founder and head of Bye Aerospace, introduced the Silent Falcon unmanned aerial vehicle earlier this year at the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI) meeting.  He has two other relatively low-cost but highly capable offerings which could stretch the limits of unmanned aerial system (UAS) capabilities. The first, the Starlight program, involves lifting a variable geometry, solar-powered airplane to great heights with a balloon, hovering with it for up to four months, and releasing it when needed to allow refurbishing, refitting and relaunching. This two-stage system provides the same kind of surveillance offered by a satellite, but at a much lower cost.  The balloon is a static device, used only to provide the altitude necessary, and the …

Silent Falcon – A Solar-Powered UAV

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

While Boeing and AeroVironment proceed with stratospheric, hydrogen-powered giants such as the Phantom Eye and the Global Observer for extremely long-range surveillance and monitoring duties, an Albuquerque, New Mexico company is exploring the potential of a small, lower-altitude, hand-launched craft that can search – and if necessary – destroy. A recent report from Volta Volare’s Paul Peterson attending the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International conclave in Las Vegas, Nevada and an email from George Bye, Chairman and CEO of Bye Aerospace, alerted your editor to the new reconnaissance aircraft. George wrote, “While the electric Cessna program continues to advance under the leadership of Charlie Johnson and a new name, ‘Beyond Aviation’, we have continued our research into solar-electric hybrid propulsion …

Not Your Father’s 172

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 1 Comment

George Bye, CEO of Bye Energy and head of the Green Flight Project, hopes to test fly the electric Cessna 172 in the spring of 2011.  Recent illustrations show the “full-dress” electric craft with Ascent solar cells, a high-tech propeller, streamlined cowling, and vortex collectors at the wing tips’ trailing edges.  Each element is intended to extend the range and efficiency of the airplane, a strong selling point, particularly in electrically-powered machines. Ascent Solar’s thin-film cells are thinner than a human hair, and thus will not impede the airflow over the wing’s surface. As the cells’ efficiency grows with development, they will provide greater flexibility of operation.  Their resistance to failure, demonstrated in the video, will enhance the reliability of …

Bye Energy, Cessna Move Toward the Electric 172

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 2 Comments

In a press release datelined Oshkosh, Wisconsin, July 26, Cessna Aircraft Company announced, “That it is collaborating with Bye Energy, Inc., an integrator of clean, alternative energy technologies for business and general aviation aircraft, to design and develop an electric propulsion system for a Cessna 172 proof of concept (POC) aircraft.”  Bye Energy is a Colorado-based aerospace company, and its CEO, George Bye, presented the Green Flight Project, his vision of the electric 172 at this year’s Electric Aircraft Symposium in Rohnert Park, California on April 24.  The fact that Cessna would agree to such collaboration is a significant step, and a verification of the market research Bye and his group have done.  Possibly fueled by the fuel question – where …

CAFE Makes the Top of Kitplanes’ Cover

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

 While at the local magazine store, or the proverbial fine book store, you’ll be able to spot Kitplanes’ August 2010 issue easily.  The yellow letters on the cover line above the magazine title pop with upper-case intensity: “FUTURE SHOCK: CAFE’S Electric Aircraft Symposium.” Not only does the fourth annual Electric Aircraft Symposium get pride of place on the magazine’s cover and in four pages inside, but Marc Cook, editor-in-chief for the publication, titles his “Around the Patch” editorial “Making Electric Aircraft Exciting,” and proceeds to share his surprised discovery of respect for the new Toyota Prius, and to praise the husband-wife team of Bill Dube’ and Eva Hakansson, battery builder and racer, respectively, of Killacycle, the 0-60 in one second electric …

The Future is Electric, and Attracting Attention

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation, Uncategorized 0 Comments

FlightGlobal.com, the online version of Flight International Magazine, has an overview of the electric aircraft scene in its April 6, 2010 release.   Among the many producers and proponents of electric flight noted in the article, Dr. Brien Seeley of the CAFE Foundation is quoted extensively, as is Calin Gologan of PC-Aero in Germany, both to present at the fourth annual Electric Aircraft Symposium, at Rohnert Park, California on April 23 and 24.  The article ponders the hopes of two hybrid electric aircraft powerplant developers, George Bye, featured in a February 21 entry in this blog, and Flight Design’s Oliver Reinhardt, the firm’s technical director.  Both face the issue of retrofitting existing light planes with their new engines, and the challenge …

Bye Energy’s Green Flight Project

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 5 Comments

In his presentation at AirVenture 2009, George Bye, CEO of Bye Energy, set forth some ambitious goals for his company. This included the development of a hybrid electric power system for light aircraft (under 250 horsepower) with target markets for general aviation and experimental homebuilt aircraft. Bye explained that light, powerful electric motors and Lithium-ion batteries have achieved a mature technology level that makes this an ideal time to enter this new market. On February 18, Bye introduced the proof of concept systems that will enable him to achieve this.   The Green Flight Project consists, in its first phase, of an electric motor based on the UQM 125, a 90-pound, 95-percent efficient unit that puts out up to 168 horsepower (output …