OSM Aviation, a recruitment and training company based in Norway, has placed an order with Colorado-based aircraft manufacturer Bye Aerospace for 60 all-electric training planes to cut flight costs.
Each two-seater eFlyer2 aircraft costs approximately $350,000 and the first deliveries are expected in 2021.
The electric planes will be used to train pilots at the OSM Aviation Academy flight training centres for the future on sustainable wings.
OSM CEO Espen Hoeiby was quoted by Reuters as saying: “It costs $110 per hour to operate a conventional trainer now. The electric planes will cost $20 per hour.
“We’re proud to take the lead in the future of green aviation. This is the largest order for commercial electric planes to date.”
The eFlyer2 offers zero emission and lower noise pollution compared with conventional aircraft, along with greater speed and altitude performance.
OSM, partly owned by low-cost carrier Norwegian Air, has more than 20 planes for pilot training, mostly Cessna 172s, which will be phased out.
According to Hoeiby, pilots will continue to receive the same training as earlier and the same licence they currently get from flying conventional planes.
He said that the order will help OSM expand to more countries, including the US.“We’re training the next generation of pilots and are determined to attract the best candidates.”
In 2018, Norway announced that it will buy electric passenger planes and offer passenger flights by 2025 to combat climate change if new aviation technologies allow.
OSM Aviation Academy managing director Bjørn Granviken said: “We’re training the next generation of pilots and are determined to attract the best candidates.
“We offer a forward-looking education, which they can be proud to take part in. This order for 60 all-electric aircraft is a key step in that respect.”
Bye Aerospace has announced the rebranding of its electric aircraft, known as ‘Sun Flyer’, to eFlyer. The eFlyer aircraft family includes the two-seat eFlyer2 and the four-seat eFlyer4.
Bye Aerospace founder and CEO George Bye said eFlyer more accurately represents the aircraft’s high-tech all-electric propulsion system. “We originally thought solar cells would be standard on the airplane’s wings.
“However, with eFlyer’s primary markets being flight training and air taxi services, it makes more sense to make the price of the airplane as reasonable as possible.”