Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Electric Cessna Skyhawk update

Keeping tabs on Cessna's electric C-172 project in collaboration with Bye Energy of Colorado, Bye just announced it will make a presentation at the annual NBAA (National Business Aviation Association) convention this that's going on right now in Atlanta.
Bye Energy as I've blogged in the past is working on electric and electric-hybrid propulsion systems for LSA and light GA airplanes under the banner of its The Green Flight Project announced earlier this year.
The latest news is the electric Skyhawk will fly in the first quarter of 2011.
George Bye, CEO, had this to say recently: "This is an ambitious effort, but we are continuing to uncover additional efficiencies with electric-powered flight," he said. "We are grateful to Cessna for its continued collaboration and support."
Cessna's head honcho Jack Pelton added: "Bye Energy's progress toward first flight of the electric Cessna 172 demonstrator is encouraging news for the future of mainstream general aviation."
Backgrounder: More than 43,000 Skyhawks have com off the line since 1955. 
The electric version could evolve to a four-hour flight time performance.  Reports are, given the sobering realities of current battery technology limitations, the first "electric" Cessna will in fact fly with a hybrid engine (jet-fuel/electric a la Toyota Prius).
Here's a video from Bye.

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