Siemens supports testing of US-electric airplane


Siemens is to supply its SP70D motor to Denver, Colorado-based Bye Aerospace for use in its all-electric Sun Flyer 2 trainer aircraft and will support the company certify the aircraft.

Siemens will provide the SP70D motor with a 90kW peak (115 HP), and a continuous rating of 70kW (90 HP). The German engineering company will also support Bye Aerospace through the FAA certification and production phases of the Sun Flyer 2.

George Bye, CEO of Bye Aerospace, said, “We are pleased to announce an agreement with Siemens to provide the electric propulsion motor and inverter for the Sun Flyer program.

“Given its performance and form factor, the SP70D motor is perfect for Sun Flyer. Members of the Siemens team have already been participating in development and certification meetings with the FAA, and we will be making future announcements about progress with the Sun Flyer 2’s flight test program.”

Bye is developing the 2-seat Sun Flyer 2 and the 4-seat Sun Flyer 4, with the aim of becoming the first FAA-certified, US-sponsored all-electric airplane for flight training and general aviation markets.

The company successfully conducted the maiden flight of a Sun Flyer 2 prototype during April.

“The Siemens SP70D motor has been specifically designed for the needs of 2-seater flight trainers,” said Dr. Frank Anton, Executive Vice President and Head of eAircraft, Siemens. “We know that safety, performance and cost of electric propulsion in the flight training market will be game changing and we are proud to partner on the Sun Flyer family of aircraft.”

Bye is also developing a high-altitude, persistent solar-electric unmanned aerial vehicle called the “StratoAirNet”, similar to the Zephyr high altitude persistent drone Airbus recently reported testing progress on.


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Ben has worked as a journalist and editor, covering technology, engineering and industry for the last 20 years. Initially writing about subjects from nuclear submarines to autonomous cars to future design and manufacturing technologies, he was editor of a leading UK-based engineering magazine before becoming editor of Aerospace Testing in 2017.

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