Electric and solar aircraft pioneer Bye Aerospace, developer of the two- and four-seat Sun Flyer airplanes, announced it has closed a $5 million funding round for projects to bring innovative solar-electric propulsion technology to aviation and aerospace.
Completing the venture-capital offering marked a “key financial milestone” to bring certified electric general aviation aircraft to market, said company CEO George Bye in a news release.
Prototypes of both aircraft are being developed by Bye Aerospace affiliate Aero Electric Aircraft Corp., established in 2014. Both aircraft are preparing for first flights on completion of final ground tests, the company said.
Bye Aerospace, founded in 2007 and headquartered near Denver, said it believes its decade of research and development places it in a “unique market position” to benefit from momentum building globally “around the benefits of electric, solar-electric, and hybrid propulsion systems for all types of aircraft.”
That range of aircraft types includes unmanned aircraft. A prototype of a long-endurance atmospheric satellite unmanned aerial vehicle called StratoAirNet is also approaching the test-flight stage.
Galileo Global Securities, a New York-based investment bank, and Ashanti Capital, with offices in Perth, Australia, and Hong Kong, participated in the financing round.
Bye credited Ashanti Capital with assistance in “introducing our Company to the Pacific Rim community.”