Reykjavik Flight Academy has entered into an agreement for the purchase of three all-electric eFlyer training aircraft. With the purchase, the school breaks new ground in the history of flight instruction in Iceland, where for the first time students will be offered instruction on aircraft that run on electricity only. The introduction of the Bye Aerospace eFlyer into the flight school fleet is also an important milestone in decarbonization for Icelandic aviation and marks the beginning of a new and more environmentally friendly future in flight instruction.
The aircraft in question are manufactured in the United States by Bye Aerospace, Inc. and are of two types: on the one hand, two eFlyer 2, which is A two-seater primary training aircraft; and one eFlyer 4, a four-seater advanced training aircraft. In addition, an agreement is under negotiation for the option to purchase two additional eFlyer aircraft, which will be announced in the future.
Until now, the limited flight endurance of electric aircraft has been the main bottleneck in their uptake in the general aviation market. However, with recent advancements, Bye Aerospace has taken the lead in this market by ensuring 3 hours of flight endurance including reserves. This far exceeds the main competitors in the market, most of which are limited to only a single hour at the moment. The success of Bye Aerospace has received a great deal of attention and hundreds of orders for their aircraft. Depending upon the aircraft and certification completion, estimated delivery will be after two to three years, which is considered a short time in this new and exciting market.
The use of electric aircraft for training is a great advantage. Electric motors can deliver a relatively high power output and the eFlyer 2 will deliver 150HP / 110kW which is about 40- 50% more than an equivalent class of combustion engine with no density altitude losses. The biggest difference is replacing fossil fuels with electricity, which results in significant savings in operating costs, estimated to be only about 1/5 of the operation cost of comparable conventional aircraft that use aviation gasoline fuels. The environmental impact is obviously very positive, as the carbon footprint of the new training aircraft will be negligible and the noise impact will be almost undetectable.
As a teaching tool, the eFlyer machines are at the forefront. They are equipped with the best available controls and advanced Garmin navigation equipment, but the most innovative feature is that the aircraft are equipped with parachutes attached to their fuselage. The covers can be released with one handle and they glide safely to the ground. This comes as standard equipment on these training aircraft and greatly increases student safety.