Next Generation Design


The Future of Electric Flight with Bye Aerospace

Season 2, Ep. 6

Despite the safety record of commercial aviation, realistically, we’re actually stepping into relics of the 1960s every time we board a plane. The technology of flight, from the deafening engines to the high fuel consumption, is all based upon knowledge and capabilities of a bygone era. If we’re ordering our groceries with the help of voice-activated robots and driving cars with barely-audible engines, isn’t it time for the aircraft we use to get a face-lift as well?

Aside from the argument that it’s long overdue, there are other, more pressing, considerations too. Fuel consumption, noise, and environmental impact, to name a few. Electrification has benefits to offer in each of those categories, but before we’re able to board battery-operated commercial jets, we need to understand how electric fits into the bigger picture within aviation. Both the industry and consumers at large need to understand the technology, and we need to train pilots how to operate these cleaner, more modern machines. 

Today’s guest is George Bye, Founder of Bye Aerospace. His background as a military pilot and in the private sector for big aviation players like Boeing led him to start his own forward-thinking aviation company. Also joining us today is Jim Forrester, Director of Design Engineering for Bye Aerospace. He’ll share the design details that factor into electric-powered aircraft, and the advanced methods of digital design that get planes off the paper and into the air. 

In this episode, you’ll hear about the early days of trying to sell the concept of electric flight when the technology seemed unthinkable. You’ll learn how an electric plane operates, how design is affected by the battery, and the urgent need for trained pilots in the coming years. We’ll also cover the long-term benefits of flying electric in terms of cost, energy consumption, and the decreased environmental impact. 

Some Questions I Ask:

  • Where does aviation fit into today's economy and why is it important? (3:53)
  • What kinds of reactions were you getting during early presentations of electric technology? (10:08)
  • How do we benefit from electric aviation? (11:35)
  • How might electric aviation affect how pilots are trained in the future? (20:54)
  • Can electric planes hold the same amount of weight as traditional aircraft? (27:04)
  • How do you see the aerospace industry evolving? (47:03)

What You’ll Learn in this Episode:

  • Why change is needed in the industry (4:46)
  • A vision for the future of electric (7:33)
  • How the electric eFlyer aircraft works (13:25)
  • The urgent need for trained pilots (24:15)
  • Answers about electric flight safety (30:17)
  • Using the digital twin to design an aircraft (36:32)

Connect with George Bye:

Connect with Jim Forrester:

Connect with Jennifer Piper: 

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