Aircraft

Successful maiden flight for Sun Flyer 2 electric airplane

Sun Flyer 2 taking off on its maiden flight on April 10
Sun Flyer 2 taking off on its maiden flight on April 10
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Sun Flyer 2 taking off on its maiden flight on April 10
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Sun Flyer 2 taking off on its maiden flight on April 10

Another small electric airplane took to the skies recently in the form of Bye Aerospace's prototype Sun Flyer 2, which made its maiden flight on April 10 at Centennial Airport south of Denver, Colorado. With a gross weight of 1,900 lb (860 kg), the two-seater prop-driven aircraft has a 3.5-hour flight duration thanks to its six lithium-ion battery packs and is intended as a pilot trainer.

This first flight of the Sun Flyer 2 is the latest step in the prototype's flight test program in the run up for full FAA certification. The tests are focused on the LG Chem MJ1 lithium-ion battery cells that have an energy density of 260 Wh/kg and are designed for quick charging while providing increased speed, altitude and endurance capabilities.

The prototype is made out of lightweight composites (mainly carbon fiber), has a low-set cantilever wing, bubble canopy, fixed tricycle undercarriage, and is propelled by a single electric motor in tractor configuration (the propeller in front). It was built by Arion Aircraft of Shelbyville, Tennessee and delivered in March for the tests.

Along with the larger four-seater Sun Flyer 4, which is currently under development, Bye Aerospace says that the Sun Flyer 2 is aimed at the general aviation market with a special focus on the pilot training sector thanks to its low-noise profile and inexpensive running costs.

"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," says George Bye, Founder and CEO of Bye Aerospace. "Lower operating costs are key to solving the student pilot dropout rate, which is curtailing the successful attainment of badly needed airline pilots. The Sun Flyer 2's three dollar hourly operating costs are 10 times lower than traditional piston-engine flight trainers, with no carbon emissions and significantly reduced noise."

Source: Bye Aerospace

8 comments
CAVUMark
I would feel better buying this plane from Hello Aerospace.
F. Tuijn
Are the batteries in the fuselage or in the wings? How is the temperature of the batteries kept within bounds and what are these bounds?
Derek Howe
Price? availability? cruising speed? ceiling? not enough info...but it looks good, and would be awesome flying in such a quiet plane.
guzmanchinky
The day they come out with a plane like an Icon A5 with solar panels on the wings (since airplanes spend a ton of time just sitting there in the sun) that can go 4-5 hours on a charge, I'm buying one...
RMinNM
There's an already shipping electric trainer in service, the Pipistrel Alpha Electro. https://newatlas.com/electric-aircraft-test-flight-australia/52846/ The first serial production Electro was delivered in January, and they've delivered dozens of them now.
Ade
Seems expensive, $289,000 according to their website.
Towerman
Nice !! 3.5 hours is perfect for me, keep up the good work ! !
Towerman
i agree way expensive