Electric aircraft manufacturer Bye Aerospace says that the provisional order backlog for its eFlyer 800 twin-motor airplane has grown to include 135 purchase and option agreements. According to company CEO George Bye, it is aiming to certify and start deliveries in 2027, with work currently focused on developing the eFlyer's propulsion system and making plans to start flying a prototype in 2024.
In April 2021, Bye confirmed the launch of what had been called the Envoy aircraft, rebranding it as the eFlyer 800. It is expected to provide an electric-powered alternative to popular utility twin-turboprops such as Textron's ubiquitous King Air family.
The eFlyer 800—which the manufacturer claims will drastically reduce operating costs and noise and eliminate greenhouse gas emissions compared with conventional turboprops—will offer a 65-inch-wide cabin for business aviation applications. A 12-seat commuter variant with uprated motors to accommodate the greater payload is also under consideration.
Across its entire range of models under development—which also include the two-seat eFlyer 2 and the four-seat eFlyer 4—Bye now lists nearly 900 aircraft in its backlog. The Denver-based company has 732 paid purchase deposits and 162 paid, time-limited purchase option deposits.
“The response has been enthusiastically positive since we announced the eFlyer 800 in April of last year,” said CEO George Bye. “We are particularly grateful to our launch customers, Jet It and JetClub, for their endorsement of this groundbreaking program.”
“We are very serious about this aircraft and are looking forward to putting it into our operations around the world, including Europe and Asia,” noted Vishal Hiremath, co-founder of HondaJet fractional ownership operator Jet It, and CEO of its European affiliate JetClub. “We are confident of the solid engineering behind it and [are] eagerly waiting for entry into service.”
Bye added that Safran remains a supportive partner as his company continues to assess the most efficient electric powertrain using the French engine maker’s Engineus electric motors and GeneusGrid electric distribution and network protection system.
“After two years of testing in Safran lab, we have validated all the key features and demonstrated the unrivaled performance of our Engineus 500,” said Hervé Blanc, executive v-p and general manager with Safran Electrical & Power. “This electric motor can deliver 750 kW maximum takeoff power, which is the perfect fit for the eFlyer 800.”
Bye is in the process of obtaining FAA certification for the smaller eFlyer 2 and 4 aircraft, which are mainly aimed at the pilot training and light aviation markets, but the schedule for this has been in flux due to the Covid pandemic.