Bye Aerospace has announced the development of the eFlyer 800, an eight-seat all-electric twin turboprop aeroplane.
The Denver-based aircraft manufacturer revealed that performance estimates for the airplane will include up to 320 knot cruise speed, 35,000ft ceiling and 500NM range with 45-minute IFR reserves at normal cruise speed of 280 knots.
Safety features are planned to include two wing-mounted electric motors with dual redundant motor windings, quad-redundant battery packs and a full airplane parachute. Additional potential features announced include an emergency auto-landing system, terrain avoidance and routing for auto-landing, an option for supplemental power solar cells and in-wheel electric taxi.
According to the company, the aircraft will have only one fifth of the operating costs of traditional twin turboprops and will be geared for the air-taxi, air-cargo, regional and charter aircraft markets.
“The eFlyer 800 is the first all-electric propulsion technology airplane that achieves twin turboprop performance and safety with no CO2 and extremely low operating costs,” said George E. Bye, CEO of Bye Aerospace. “This type of remarkable economy and performance is made possible by the electric propulsion and advanced battery cell technology that results in significantly higher energy densities.”
Aviation, defence and space tech group Safran is supporting propulsion design, currently working alongside Bye Aerospace to assess the most efficient electric powertrain for the eFlyer 800.
“Safran product lines with the ENGINeUS motors, rated from 50kW to 500kW/1MW and GENeUSGRID systems, perfectly fit with the Bye Aerospace portfolio of e-aircraft,” said Hervé Blanc, executive vice president and general manager power with Safran Electrical & Power. “Building upon our successful cooperation on eFlyer2 and eFlyer4, we are very proud to bring our best expertise to support Bye Aerospace in the design of the new eFlyer 800.”
Customer deposit agreements are complete and several are being developed with US and European air-taxi, air-charter and air-cargo services, the details of which will be finalised and announced soon, Bye said in a statement.