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Electric aircraft manufacturer raises $10 million

Electric aircraft company Bye Aerospace raised $10 million in venture capital this week as part of its effort to support the development of its all-electric eFlyer family of fixed-wing light aircraft. The Denver-based startup said an undisclosed venture capital group has invested $5 million and that this was supplemented by an additional $5 million venture raise.

These funds will enable the company to begin working on the first production-conforming prototype of its two-seat eFlyer 2 model, according to founder and CEO George Bye.

“We completed critical design review in early June and are now underway with multiple test flights of the eFlyer 2 technology demonstrator,” Bye said. “Next, we will be solidifying our supply chain relationships to begin assembly on Serial #001, which is the first production-conforming eFlyer 2 aircraft.”

Bye Aerospace hopes to complete FAR Part 23 type certification of the eFlyer 2 in 2021. A larger four-seat eFlyer 4 model should make a first flight in early 2021.

The company has a backlog of deposit-backed purchase agreements totaling 360 eFlyer aircraft. Last year, Bye received orders from the general aviation aircraft marketer BlackBird, which signed to buy a mix of 100 eFlyer 2s and eFlyer 4s. Flight training group OSM Aviation is contracted to acquire 60 eFlyer 2s.

The eFlyer 2 is expected to operate at cruise speeds of up to around 155 mph with an endurance of 180 minutes. The eFlyer 4 will be slightly faster at 165 mph and with an endurance of just more than four hours.