Bye Aerospace Announces Letters Of Intent for 340 eFlyer Electric Trainers


Last week, Denver, Colorado-based electric aircraft developer Bye Aerospace announced it has signed four letters of intent (LOIs) from “prominent” aviation training providers for a total of 340 eFlyer aircraft. Terms were not announced.

Bye Aerospace’s eFlyer program was launched with the initial goal of designing and manufacturing the two-seat eFlyer. The aircraft is intended to be fully certified under the new FAR 23 Amendment 64, “normal category,” according to Bye, which will market the aircraft globally, starting with the flight training industry. “Other utilities will follow,” reads the Bye Aerospace website, “including pilot-owner, business, charter and regional. As of mid-2023 we have over $1 billion in customer backlog value.”

Tom Calgaard, senior VP of Bye Aerospace, said, “Our eFlyer aircraft not only aligns with [training providers’] requirements, but also sets new benchmarks for excellence in electric aviation.” Bye Aerospace claims its eFlyer offers up to 80 percent lower flight operating costs compared with “conventional trainers.”

Rod Zastrow, Bye Aerospace president, said, “The enthusiastic response from aviation training companies reaffirms our commitment to reshaping the aviation industry. Bye Aerospace is poised to make a significant impact on the future of aviation training.”

Mark Phelps
Mark Phelps is a senior editor at AVweb. He is an instrument rated private pilot and former owner of a Grumman American AA1B and a V-tail Bonanza.

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  1. Image is of a tech demonstrator. The aircraft that there is interest in reported in this article has not been built. Information is available on their website, including predicted performance (subject to change).

    If every letter of intent for these vapour products were converted to orders and delivered as originally planned there should be thousands of electric aircraft flying around all over the place by now.

  2. Can America afford to now subsidize a transition to electric aviation? The technology today is no more feasible for airplanes than it is for cars. No matter how much you try to train people to accept long recharge times, eventually the novelty wears off. Develop a clean alternative to fossil fuels that is just as convenient as refueling and you’ll need no subsidies. The electric-only myopia is like if telegraph was the chosen communication method over broadband and subsidized to ensure its dominance.

    • Are we subsidizing electric aircraft? I question if the LOI’s will become actual sales. Most of these so far have included clauses making the commitment contingent on the certified model “meeting performance and operational requirements”. Unless they’ve made a big leap over the Pipistrel model Paul reported on some time ago, they won’t meet any school’s realistic needs. Until then it’s greenwashing and PR designed to calm investors. Now if a mass producible solid-state battery comes along, the leaded fuel debate might be moot. It’s a long way from the lab to the factory floor though.

    • Subsidies? I must have missed those. If only electric aircraft were as feasible as electric cars this debate would be over. There is no more convenient way of “fueling” a car than parking it in the garage and having it be full every morning, at minimal cost on cheap rate electricity. Just as a thought exercise, imagine if charging your phone required a visit to the gas station. And don’t get me started on oil changes, smog checks and maintenance costs!

    • Tesla is worth more than all other car manufacturers combined in market capitalization. Go lease a model 3 and find out. If you don’t like it rent it out on Turo and you’ll have a nice little business. The e vs fossil debate has concluded.

  3. After a student gets a license to fly electric, what is the additional cost to be certified to fly a fuel burner? Electric is a great novelty but how can they make money when most of the time they are grounded with a charger cord attached? A Tesla driver calculated the cost at the charging station to be 20 cents per mile. My Prius cost 14 cents at the pump. This also shows the advantage of an onboard generating system. What is the cost per mile for any electric airplane? People don’t invest money before crunching the numbers, or maybe they do!

  4. $1b backlog on 340 aircraft implies a unit cost of $2.9m What am I missing here? A friend of mine drives and old VW Golf diesel with over 300,000 miles on the odometer. He still gets 50mpg on it. So why are we not all driving and flying behind diesels?

    • The 340-unit figure represents aircraft associated with the recent LOIs from the four training providers. The $1 billion figure is for total commitments, which could predate the LOIs mentioned in their announcement.

    • Now we use spark 2-cycle with direct ignition. It is just like diesel but the pressure is lower to prevent preignition. That makes the engine lighter and more affordable.

  5. It can’t be done! It’ll never work! It doesn’t make sense! (Don’t make me even THINK about changing anything!)

    Wow. The more things move forward, the more some people are determined to dig their heels in even harder. I’m glad Wilbur and Orville didn’t listen to the naysayers.

    • I think folks welcome improvements, but not change to meet an unrelated agenda. If aircraft could only be constructed using cotton fabric due to its sustainability you’d never have a pressurized aircraft. But you’d placate those fixated on sustainability.

  6. If and it is a big if, e-trainers will succeed because they can be much cheaper to operate. In Canada a Cessna 172 costs the flying school 80$ an hour just for gas. An e-trainer will cost about $ 1.75 an hour for electricity. Plus it doesn’t need $ 100 of oil and a $ 60 oil filter every 100 hrs, 500 hour mag overhauls, muffler repairs, etc etc.

    The big If is the batteries. No flying electric airplane had demonstrated a honest 1.5 hr endurance yet, the minimum for a viable flight school aircraft. Also the per hour cost of batteries has to be comparable to the per hour overhaul reserve for a typical Lycoming/Continental. Right now they are not even close.

    The good news is the car manufacturers are putting billions into battery technology so this is likely to improve.

  7. I fully agree with those who say that electric-powered aircraft will never happen, just like Thomas Edison said in 1895 that heavier-than-air flight will never happen.