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Sun Flyer 2 secures battery contracts

Sun Flyer 2

Bye Aerospace to work with Electric Power Systems to power Sun Flyer 2 trainer aircraft

Back in August 2017 we reported on Bye Aerospace’s plans for its Sun Flyer 2 and Sun Flyer 4 all-electric trainer aircraft. The former is currently under development with plans for full FAA certification later this year.

In pursuit of that goal, last week Bye announced a formal partnership with Electric Power Systems (EPS) for the supply of the Sun Flyer 2’s energy storage systems. Under the contract, EPS will design and build the full storage system including battery modules, a battery management unit and power distribution systems for its Flight Demonstrator aircraft.

According to the pair, this demonstrator is scheduled for first flight tests some time in Q2 2018.

“We’re excited to work with Bye Aerospace on making the Sun Flyer the first all-electric airplane certified under the new FAA Part 23 regulations,” said EPS CEO Nathan Millecam.

The 2-seat model features a 100-kW motor, while the 4-seater Sun Flyer 4 has at least 130 kW of propulsion according to specifications listed by Bye Aerospace. The latter offers a 1,250 feet per minute best rate of climb, and speeds of up to 120 Knots.

The battery will reportedly offer four hours of flight time, although actual capacity is not listed in the aircraft specifications.

EPS however, is one of the standout players in the electric aviation space. In addition to Bye, the company is also working with NASA as part of its X-plane development programme. EPS’ work on the all-electric X57 aircraft includes the manufacture and supply of battery modules, the battery control computers, and the integrated assembly components for the aircraft.

Referencing the X-plane initiative, EPS’ VP of engineering and co-founder Randy Dunn noted: “EPS’s modular Battery Management System (BCC-701) and its aviation grade Energy Producing Ion Core (EPIC) battery modules enable NASA to meet its objectives of having a highly reliable custom high voltage battery that can be flown in 2017.”

The company says its system is ideal for the NASA project because its battery management system can be configured easily to fit multiple chemistry types, while maintaining the integrity of a DO311 design base. This enables the use of commercial cells that can be integrated into a large-scale battery.

Millecam added: “Our Energy Storage System leverages technology developed for NASA’s X57 platform, that enables our Battery Module to meet stringent FAA safety requirements around containment of cells in thermal runaway at a very light weight.”

The LA-headquartered company recently expanded to a new site in Logan, Utah, next to the Logan-Cache airport.

 

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