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Sun Flyer Solar-Electric Prototype Delivered
March 3, 2016 - The two-seat proof of concept prototype for the Sun Flyer solar-electric flight trainer has arrived at its home station at Centennial Airport near Denver. Aircraft final integration and assembly began immediately.
The aircraft, being developed by Aero Electric Aircraft Corp. (AEAC), is intended to be the first FAA-certified, U.S.-sponsored, practical, all-electric airplane serving the flight training market. After the airplane’s electronics systems, flight instruments and electric power plant are installed, ground and taxi tests will begin. The company announced that an aircraft roll-out event will be scheduled soon.
George Bye, CEO of AEAC, thanked the engineering, operations, and support team for their hard work that played an instrumental role in getting the aircraft completed. “This is a major milestone in the Sun Flyer program,” he said. “I want to extend my thanks to our board of directors, strategic advisors, shareholders, and industry colleagues who have supported our effort.”
AEAC contracted with Arion Aircraft from the Nashville, Tennessee area to help build the initial proof of concept prototype. “The quality of workmanship, fit and finish is extraordinary,” said COO Kerry Beresford. “Well done to Nick Otterback and his team at Arion.”
Bye said the Sun Flyer innovatively uses broadband and iPad connectivity as part of an entire high-tech flight training system to enhance the student pilot-instructor experience. “In fact, we have an iPad in the proof of concept prototype, as well as Redbird Flight Simulations’ Sidekick,” he said. The new Redbird “Sidekick” keeps track of motor parameters, as well as flight time, airplane position, attitude, and landings, and wirelessly transmits the data to the flight school or ground station where the operator can track it via Redbird’s customizable Sidekick software.
“The addition of Sidekick is a collaborative opportunity to further enhance a comprehensive pilot training system for Sun Flyer,” said Jerry Gregoire of Redbird.
Bye said the AEAC team has an ambitious but exciting year ahead. “We expect to make significant progress over the next several months in Sun Flyer POC prototype testing and in the ongoing development and refinement of the final production design,” he said.