Hybrid Aircraft Program Announced
'Green Flight Project'
George Bye next to a Remos LSA showing a hybrid system mock-up.
A mock-up of Bye Energy’s electric hybrid propulsion system.
February 18, 2010 — Colorado-based Bye Energy, Inc., announced Thursday morning (February 18) it’s working with selected technology partners to develop an electric-hybrid propulsion system (EHPS) for light propeller-driven aircraft. Calling it “The Green Flight Project,” George Bye, CEO, declared, “The future is great for electric and electric-hybrid propulsion in aircraft. Savings to pilot-owners, increased operating efficiencies, reduced ownership and maintenance costs, environmental benefits, and improved safety will permanently change the face of general aviation.”
First phase for the project will be test flying an EHPS installed in a single-engine airplane, described as a conventional two-seat trainer. In Phase 2, they’ll install and test fly EHPS on a twin-engine aircraft. Neither aircraft type was disclosed; however in a photo posted to the project's website shows Bye standing next to a Remos light-sport aircraft.
Bye said that work is nearly complete in transforming the conventional single to electric power for a proof of concept flight. A first flight test would take place in the next 7-8 months.
Partners in the program include UQM Technologies for the electric motor and controller; Porous Power, lithium-ion battery and management system; Ascent Solar, thin film photovoltaics; Vertical Power, energy management system; and Scion Aviation, for composite parts and materials.
“The time to accelerate incorporation of this new hybrid technology has arrived,” echoed Charlie Johnson, Bye Energy chief operating officer.
General Aviation is a vital market that will benefit from the environmentally friendly, lower cost, more efficient and higher performing aircraft.”
This is not the first attempt at implementing a hybrid system in light aircraft. At the 2009 Aero in Friedrichshafen, Germany, Flight Design unveiled a hybrid propulsion system combining a Rotax 914 engine and a 30 kW (40HP) motor.
Bye headed the Aviation Technology Group (ATG) which attempted to launch the ATG Javelin Jet but halted development on the project in December 2007.
Listen to EAA Radio’s interview with George Bye conducted after Thursday’s announcement of the Green Flight Project.