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Electric 172 May Fly Early Next Year

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An electric-powered Cessna 172 proof-of-concept aircraft will be ready to fly by April of next year, Bye Energy and Cessna said this week at NBAA's Annual Convention. The two companies are collaborating on the project, which was announced earlier this year at EAA AirVenture. George Bye, CEO of Bye Energy, said the project is making steady progress. "This is an ambitious effort, but we are continuing to uncover additional efficiencies with electric-powered flight," he said. "We are grateful to Cessna for its continued collaboration and support." Cessna CEO Jack Pelton said progress toward first flight of the electric 172 demonstrator is "encouraging news for the future of mainstream general aviation."

When the project was introduced in July, Pelton said "the electric power plant offers significant benefits, but there are significant challenges to get there." He added that he believed Bye Energy has "gotten off to a good start in understanding those challenges and how to overcome them." Bye spoke with AVweb at Oshkosh about his plans for the project; click here to listen to the podcast.

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