Wisk Tests Cora in US, New Zealand

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

Recently renamed Wisk (formerly KittyHawk) has resumed flight testing of its Cora eVTOL (electric Vertical Take Off and Landing) machines following a cautionary corona virus shutdown.  It’s already got a fleet, with several prototypes in the U. S. and at least four in New Zealand. New Zealand seems to have a lock on flight testing for unpiloted aircraft, with Pyka and Cora both finding amenable administrators willing to allow flight tests.  Boeing and Wisk are collaborating on achieving urban air mobility with the two-seat machine, and getting a lot of positive vibes from the locals.  Partly from the NZ government, partly from local businesses, and partly from indigenous Maori tribes’ people, Wisk and Cora have found wide-spread acceptance down under. …

Bye Aerospace Expands Its Horizons

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

Bye Aerospace has been making inroads into both battery development and flight training with partners on an international scale.  Alliance with Oxis Energy As reported in July, Bye Aerospace and OXIS Energy announced a collaborative program to achieve a 50-to 100-percent increase in flight time from a single charge compared to existing batteries.  On its web site, OXIS reveals that it is, “…developing a <30 kWh battery system integrated with an Aviation Battery Management System for a two-seater electric passenger aircraft.”  The partnership, “…seeks to achieve a 50% to 100% increase in flight time from a single charge on future Bye Aerospace eAircraft,” with cells exceeding 500 Watt-hours per kilogram at 20 Amp-hour capacity.  This will lead to weight reduction …

A L.E.A.P. Forward for Electro.Aero

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

Heady Ambitions Joshua Portlock, Co-founder, Director and Chief Technology Officer for Electro.Aero in Perth, Australia, has a heady set of ambitions.  He and Rob Belaga presented a simple electric vertical takeoff and landing machine, FlyKart, at two different symposia in northern California two years ago, and presented a refined version for the Boeing GoFly competition shortly thereafter.  They’ve made it to the finals of the $2,000,000 contest and will be in the February, 2020 flyoff. In the meantime, he’s started a flight training program using Pipistrel’s Alpha Electro trainer, and is partnering with an almost bewildering  set of industry, government and academic leaders, including Ampaire, Bye Aerospace, E/S/Aero, NASA, Pipistrel, University of Western Australia, and Zero Emissions Vehicles Australia.  Joshua …

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 …

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 …

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 …

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 …

George Bye is a Busy Electrical Entrepreneur

Dean Sigler Hybrid Aircraft, Solar Power, Sustainable Aviation Leave a Comment

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 7 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 …