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Satnews Daily
August 20th, 2018

Bye Aerospace StartoAirNet Protoype Has a Successful First Flight

Bye Aerospace has successfully completed their first flight of the solar electric technology demonstrator prototype for the company's “StratoAirNet” and “Solesa” families of medium-altitude aircraft systems. — the piloted prototype first flight and subsequent flight tests took place at Northern Colorado Regional Airport, north of Loveland.

The Solesa and StratoAirNet family of aircraft systems are intended to provide support for long-endurance commercial and government security requirements, including patrol, observation, utility, mapping, precision agriculture, search and rescue and surveillance missions. The Solesa aircraft system will be piloted, performing similar patrol and survey missions for shorter flight durations. It also provides an R&D test platform for new customer payloads. StratoAirNet is intended to be a longer-endurance UAV and will follow required steps to qualify this additional capability.

Image of Bye Aerospace's StratoAirNet, which uses a light-weight composite structure, clean aerodynamics and solar electric propulsion systems. The StratoAirNet proof-of-concept aircraft is pilot-optional allowing for immediate payload integration while the flight test program matures.

StratoAirNet and Solesa offer unique advantages over traditional systems, including lower unit cost, lower heat and noise signatures, lower operating costs and enhanced utility. Bye Aerospace is collaborating with SolAero, integrating their advanced high-efficiency solar cell technologies on the advanced graphite composite wing.
Bye Aerospace completed the first flight of its “Sun Flyer 2” aircraft in April. The Sun Flyer family of aircraft aims to be the first FAA-certified, U.S.-sponsored, practical, all-electric airplanes to serve the flight training and general aviation markets. The company is collaborating with Siemens on the electric propulsion system for Sun Flyer 2.

Executive Comment

George E. Bye, CEO and Founder of Bye Aerospace, described the first flight as a significant industry milestone, said this was a great day for solar-electric aviation. He thanked the entire team for their persistence and extra efforts to achieve this milestone as well as the professionals at Northern Colorado Regional Airport for their cooperation in making these flights possible.