Skyborne orders electric training aircraft from Bye Aerospace

The UK-based airline academy has placed deposits for a total of ten aircraft from the U.S. manufacturer.

Skyborne Airline Academy has completed purchase deposits for six Bye Aerospace eFlyer 2 and four eFlyer 4 all-electric airplanes, which will be added to its current fleet of UK-based training aircraft.

“We are radically redefining every aspect of airline pilot training, and that includes incorporating all-electric aircraft into our fleet as we invest in the latest technology for our trainees and staff,” said Lee Woodward, Skyborne CEO. “The eFlyer family of aircraft are great for the environment, economical to operate and have the right blend of avionic technology and handling characteristics required to train our future airline pilots.”

Bye Aerospace is developing the FAA FAR 23-certified family of all-electric eFlyer general aviation aircraft, starting with the two-seat eFlyer 2, for the professional flight training mission and the four-seat eFlyer 4 for air-taxi and advanced training uses. Their promotional material explains that they expect endurance to be in excess of 3 hours, including 30 minutes contingency in case of a diversion under Visual Flight Rules. Pre-production models of the eFlyer 2 are currently undergoing flight test.

George E. Bye, CEO of Bye Aerospace, congratulated and thanked Skyborne for their eFlyer purchase deposits. “Skyborne is a pioneer of electric aviation in the UK and has been particularly resilient in their approach to flight training during the pandemic,” he said. “Their ability to recognise and prepare for the benefits of electric aviation while adjusting to the challenges presented by coronavirus has been impressive.”

The production eFlyer 2 aircraft was powered by a 90kW Rolls Royce electric motor whereas the production aircraft will feature a Safran ENGINeUS power plant.

Headquartered at Gloucestershire Airport, Skyborne offers airline-focused training to meet the needs of the aviation industry. Founded in 2018, the academy delivers a broad range of pilot training courses, from its flagship EASA/UKCAA Integrated and Combined Modular ATPL programmes, to Upset Prevention and Recovery Training (UPRT), Airline Pilot Standards Multi-Crew Co-operation (APS MCC) and military conversion courses.

“A significant reduction in global carbon emissions is the goal for most socially responsible organizations in our industry, and with the help of Bye Aerospace, we aim to lead the way in the UK,” Woodward said. “It’s vital for the next generation that we invest in measures to make flying more sustainable. Electric is the future of aviation.”

The first two-seater eFlyer aircraft are expected to join the Skyborne fleet in autumn 2022, with the four-seater model following in 2023.

Bye Aerospace paid purchase deposits now total 360 eFlyer units. The company estimates the eFlyer will eliminate the release of five million metric tons of CO2 each year for flight training.

More information is available from Skyborne and Bye Aerospace websites.