Bye Aerospace is making progress on its electric eFlyer trainer. In this interview recorded at AirVenture last month, AVweb caught up with George Bye to see where the certification program stands.


  1. “We’re working closely with the FAA” is code for ‘The FAA won’t return our phone calls”.

    By the time they get the aircraft certified, battery technology will have advanced to 6 hour flight time, third the weight with 10 minute charge time. 😉

    Good Luck with certification George.

  2. @Don Lineback: does doing basic training in a piston aircraft qualify one to eventually convert to flying a turbine aircraft? Does basic training in a single engine aircraft qualify one to eventually convert to flying multi-engine? If so, then there is your answer: learn basic flying skills in a trainer, then learn the incremental skills to fly the eventual aircraft.

  3. Electric self-launching gliders have been around for years–and they WORK.

    That doesn’t mean that technology works in heavier, multi-passenger trainers. Self-launching gliders calculate their range in FEET–most have 6 to 9 thousand feet of climb capability–only a few minutes. Launch and climb to 3000 feet–find a thermal, and have a great time. Lose lift and getting low? Climb another couple of thousand feet–you now have 1-4000′ of climb in reserve.

    That’s for a very efficient single place glider of 40 or 50 to one glide efficiency–operating at best L/D–hardly a cross country cruiser. Many people pin their hopes on “better battery efficiency”–yet most of that has already happened, and it gets harder and harder to exact higher percentage of improvements year by year. People USED to pine for perpetual motion–but over 100 years later, the theory still hasn’t worked.

    • The current ratio from gas to battery is only 30 to 1. If batteries doubled – it would be 30 to 2. The only way for electric to work is an on board charging system. There are many now in the works.

      • aka a hybrid system. An engine optimized for the purpose coupled to electric motors with redundancy might work. But any PURE battery airplane … FUHGETABOUTIT !! Now toss in a $.5M cost and … this idea ain’t going far.