EAA AIRVENTURE OSHKOSH, Wisconsin - July 27, 2014 - Aero Electric Aircraft Corp. (AEAC) today unveiled the single-seat technology demonstrator for its next-generation solar electric training aircraft called "Sun Flyer."
AEAC, in conjunction with its development partner, Bye Aerospace, Inc., is planning to offer the first U.S.-sponsored, practical, all-electric airplane serving the training, recreational and general aviation markets. The company is licensing technology from PC-Aero and is collaborating with Redbird Flight Simulations to offer a comprehensive pilot training system.
Jerry Gregoire, Redbird Chairman, said his company will be developing a flight simulator for Sun Flyer. "This is a significant game-changer for our industry," he said. "Pilot training is a logical path for introducing the economic and safety benefits of electric propulsion."AEAC recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Spartan College of Aeronautics and Technology to participate in the development of a complete training system. CEO Peter Harris said Spartan College has trained pilots from all over the world and focuses on providing innovative programs. "We want to be on the leading edge in a smart way by offering high quality and cost effective aviation training, and supporting Sun Flyer's development fits strategically into Spartan's future."
The specially-modified single-seat technology demonstrator for Sun Flyer conducted its initial functional flight testing in mid-July and will be available for viewing at the Redbird Flight Simulations display area during EAA AirVenture Oshkosh, July 28 through Aug. 3.
PC-Aero is attending Oshkosh to help present and support the technology demonstrator. Calin Gologan, Founder and CEO of PC-Aero, said the launch of the Sun Flyer project is a culmination of several years of effort. "What this launch represents is the fusion of many industry advocates who believe it is now time to begin integrating solar electric propulsion technologies for light aircraft into the commercial marketplace," he said.
George Bye, Chairman and CEO of AEAC, said Sun Flyer is intended to provide a durable, solar-electric flight trainer for general aviation. "After several years of pursuing solar-electric flight in the most practical approaches possible, the time is now ripe for this market opportunity," he said. "Various elements of solar-electric propulsion have now matured to the point where significant savings can now be realized from lower operating costs and less complicated maintenance checks." Bye added, "I am thrilled to introduce members of the AEAC Board of Directors and senior leadership."
AEAC's senior leadership includes its President, Charlie Johnson, a well-known industry veteran and advocate of electric propulsion for general aviation. "The level of interest and the support we are receiving from industry advocates is very much appreciated," he said. "We are working closely with appropriate certifying officials to help prepare for the commercialization of Sun Flyer."