Bye Aerospace Reveal Details On New Eight-Seat Electric Plane
George Bye, of electric aviation company Bye Aerospace, recently spoke with Forbes to reveal all on the new eFlyer 800 electric plane. The eFlyer 800 looks to challenge nine-seat versions of similar planes, running on lithium-sulfur batteries exclusively.
The plane itself looks strikingly similar to the Beechcraft King Air made by Textron, arguably the main competition to the proposed eFlyer 800 depending on who you ask. Differences between the two come down to the range, price and operating costs, with the eFlyer 800 being the easier of the two to maintain.
Electric plane details
Tech outfitter, and UK startup, Oxis Energy will supply the batteries on the eFlyer 800. It will be a challenge for sure, but a welcome one. You see, electric batteries require a lot of power to carry a craft of this size; it’s why a lot of electric vehicles are only part-electric over all-electric (especially planes).
The eFlyer 800 will only need around 30 minutes to charge when at ground level. Moreover, according to Bye, this electric plane will recharge by as much as 15% during descent. Electric propulsion allows the aircraft to travel further distances (up to 500 nautical miles travelling around 320 mph per charge).
Bye envisions a world where planes replace delivery trucks and other emission-prone vehicles, citing distance covered and no noise as two of the main benefits. Could we be looking at the future of urban travel/delivery? Former US Air Force pilot and aviation pioneer Bye certainly seems optimistic.
“Electric aircraft can cover distances at less cost than a truck without any carbon dioxide emissions, and with much less noise, they can operate at night over high-density urban environments like LA..”
— George Bye of Bye Aerospace talking to Forbes
When can we expect this electric plane to launch?
The plan is to bring the plane to market at some point in the next few years. Right now, Bye Aerospace hope to get the green light between 2024 and 2026, specifically. Bye Aerospace is currently working on another electric aircraft in the eFlyer 2, a two-seat electric plane made for student pilots. The company is also working on a four-seat plane.
Proposed systems in the eFlyer 800 are the same in other planned aircraft (i.e. lithium-sulfur batteries). Studies have highlighted the pitfalls of lithium-sulfur in the past. This, again, will need to be worked out before these electric planes can truly soar.