US-based L3Harris Technologies
and Bye Aerospace
have signed an agreement to develop an all-electric, multi-mission aircraft that will provide intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) capabilities.
The companies will modify the recently announced eight-seat, all-electric, twin-motor eFlyer 800 aircraft, which features twin 500kW electric engines – well suited for the ISR mission as it offers excellent mission range, persistent overwatch and payload capacity with the added benefits of one-fifth of a traditional turboprop’s operating cost, zero emissions and a minimal logistical footprint for operations in the field.
The eFlyer 800’s all-electric motors do not combust fuel with air, creating torque from electricity alone, removing legacy turboprop engine limitations. All-electric propulsion allows the aircraft to operate with low thermal signature and in virtual silence both inside and outside of the cockpit, which will enable new flexibility for both low and high-altitude mission operations.
L3Harris will collaborate with Bye Aerospace using the latest digital engineering tools to model survivability, mission effectiveness, logistics and platform performance in multiple mission configurations. It is a world leader in providing multi-mission airborne ISR solutions, with decades of experience in ‘missionising’ aircraft for a variety of missions using virtually all aircraft types.
Luke Savoie, L3Harris president (Aviation Services), said: “Applying our expertise to Bye Aerospace’s all-electric platform will help drive future mission applications. These platforms offer sustainability and mission advantages that will benefit a new generation of tactical manned ISR mission aircraft.”
Bye Aerospace is a pioneer in applying innovative electric propulsion systems to its aircraft, which will dramatically reduce operations cost and eliminate CO2
emissions. The company also develops and integrates structural and mechanical systems and aerodynamic advances for increased performance.
George E Bye, Bye Aerospace CEO, said: “L3Harris is the ‘gold standard’ in mission systems, providing the technologies and solutions critical to our government and military customer needs,
“We are excited to be partnering with L3Harris to develop the next-generation, all-electric, aircraft for multi-modal military applications. We are honoured that they believe in our vision for eFlyer 800 electric aircraft and look forward to our journey together.”