Bye Energy, a company devoted to developing and commercializing alternative energy technologies for general aviation, is on the verge of creating a solar-powered plane that may completely transform the industry, according to a recent article published in Triple Pundit.
Electric planes, which have obvious environmental and cost benefits, are not an entirely new concept. A project conceived in Switzerland in 2003 called the Solar Impulse flew for 26 hours last year and the German company, PC-Aero, has also already tested a single-seated electric plane.
Bye Energy’s plan to transform the Cessna Skyhawk 172 into an all-electric aircraft, called the Bye Hawk, is unique in part because the Skyhawk is the most popular plane in history.
Aircrafts, especially small ones, are infamous for their inefficiency and pollution. A Skyhawk burns at least eight gallons of 100 low lead (100 LL) fuel an hour, which is actually responsible for 50 percent of airborne lead, according to a recent announcement by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
The Bye Hawk would eliminate the need for this dangerous fuel for the most popular plane in the world, which has enormous potential to reduce emissions and reliance on foreign fuel, according to Charapata.
The Bye Hawk would also significantly reduce maintenance costs, as its electric engine would only need an overhaul every 25,000 hours, whereas a standard combustion engine needs one every 5,000 hours.
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