“Sun Flyer” Prototype Unveiled
Spartan College of Aeronautics and Technology Reserves 5 Additional Airplanes
Collaborative Partnership with University of Denver’s
Daniel Felix Ritchie School of Engineering & Computer Science Announced
DENVER, Colorado – May 11, 2016 – Aero Electric Aircraft Corp. (AEAC), which is developing the high-tech, solar-electric “Sun Flyer” general aviation flight trainer, hosted a rollout event of its proof of concept (POC) Sun Flyer this morning at Centennial Airport..
The airplane unveiled publicly for the first time is a 2-seat POC prototype version of Sun Flyer. Performance data from the POC prototype airplane will be used to help finalize the design for the FAA-certified production version. The rollout featured a static display of the aircraft.
George Bye, CEO and Founder of AEAC, said the rollout of the aircraft is the first of many complex steps to finalize the design and ultimately achieve FAA certification for the production Sun Flyer. “It is an honor to have such notable individuals from the State of Colorado, surrounding communities, general aviation and aerospace industry with us today,” he said. “I would like to extend a special thanks to Peter Harris and his outstanding team at Spartan. Their ongoing support continues to help the Sun Flyer program gain additional momentum.”
During the event, Peter Harris, CEO of Spartan College of Aeronautics and Technology, announced Spartan is reserving five additional Sun Flyer airplanes. Spartan, a key development partner, reserved the first 20 Sun Flyer delivery positions and signed a Training Program Development Agreement to help develop a complete training system for Sun Flyer. “This is a great day,” Harris said. “We are thrilled to have Spartan College of Aeronautics and Technology involved as part of the Sun Flyer in an industry that needs pioneers. This is changing the nature of aviation training that will have an impact for generations to come.”
AEAC also announced a new strategic partnership with the University of Denver’s Daniel Felix Ritchie School of Engineering & Computer Science. Dr. Ing. Kimon Valavanis, Director of the DU Unmanned Systems Research Institute, noted how Sun Flyer’s electric propulsion technology is scalable to numerous aviation platforms. “It is our desire to have much closer collaboration with AEAC and its founding partner, Bye Aerospace,” he said. “The sky is not the limit for the future of aviation.”
Bye noted how the vision of AEAC and Bye Aerospace, aligns with the strategy of The Daniel Felix Ritchie School of Engineering & Computer Science to create and organize education, research and outreach networks in order to recognize, understand and respond to the evolving technological needs of the world community and global economy. “We anticipate collaborative efforts on a variety of potential platforms, given our mutual interests in electric propulsion and unmanned aerial systems,” he said.
Charlie Johnson, President of AEAC, said the event was a significant moment in the evolution of general aviation. “Sun Flyer is going to be environmentally friendly, but there will be a lot of significant cost reductions as well,” he said.
Jay Lindell, Aerospace and Defense Industry Champion for the State of Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade, said many in the general public want to be pilots but are not able to achieve certification due to the high cost. “Today we cannot meet the demand for commercial pilots but with the Sun Flyer, general aviation will again be affordable, not a luxury.”
Greg Anderson, CEO of Wings Over the Rockies Air and Space Museum, said the Sun Flyer program will be a boost to training the next generation of pilots at Centennial Airport. “It is an exciting time for all of us,” he said. “Young people are hungry for these kinds of experiences and flying opportunities.”
Jerry Gregoire of Redbird Flight said the cost of learning to fly and the costs associated with flying have had significant impact on aviation. “In looking for solutions to lower the cost of training, this is a very important piece of learning how to bring the costs of flying down.” AEAC and Redbird are jointly creating a next-generation comprehensive pilot training system for Sun Flyer.
ABOUT AERO ELECTRIC AIRCRAFT CORP.
AEAC is developing Sun Flyer, the first FAA-certified U.S.-sponsored, practical, all-electric airplane serving the aviation flight training market. For more information, go to www.SunFlyer.com.