Advanced Air Mobility News

Lyte Aviation CEO: SkyBus Ideal for Seattle, Microsoft Employees

Lyte Aviation CEO: SkyBus Ideal for Seattle, Microsoft Employees

Freshta Farzam, the CEO of Lyte Aviation, said that its LA-44 SkyBus eVTOL is ideal for the U.S. city of Seattle and the many Microsoft employees based there, as it offers a sustainable means of transportation. 

Lyte’s electric aircraft has been engineered to be significantly more fuel-efficient than a helicopter, supposedly boasting five times the efficiency. It will also allegedly generate ten times less noise pollution, making it a much quieter option. Furthermore, the SkyBus is designed to be an economically viable choice when considering the fewer maintenance, repair, and operations (MRO) costs.

Currently, Seattle runs ferries to transport passengers from Bainbridge Island to Seattle, while those looking to reach Redmond from Seattle need to do so using ground transportation.

Farzam sees the 40-seater aircraft as a viable alternative given its speed, safety, and affordability. She added that close to 53,000 Microsoft employees are traveling every day, making them the ideal passengers the SkyBus can cater to. 

“We chose to design an alternative to the ferry route from Bainbridge Island to Seattle, plus the ground traffic from Seattle to Redmond, to support the employees of the corporate headquarters of Microsoft,” Farzam said. “There are almost 53,000 employees traveling each day over waterways and congested roadways.

“Soon, after a long working day, the daily commute of around 40km will take only ten minutes instead of 90. SkyBus can take off from a vertiport at the Microsoft campus straight and land at a vertiport pad on the island.”

To introduce its electric aircraft in the local community, Lyte has partnered with the Advanced Air Mobility (AAM) Institute, a non-profit corporation committed to educating people about the benefits of integrating AAM into everyday life. 

“Our future SkyBus is an ideal proposition for the Bainbridge Island-Seattle-Redmond connection, and will provide a safe, convenient, affordable, sustainable and much faster transportation option,” she said. “The SkyBus is an ideal solution to extend current ferry transport solutions on waterways in the near future for passenger mass and cargo transit. We decided to start this project with Dan Sloat, AAM Institute president and his team.”

Sloat acknowledged the vast difference the SkyBus will make in providing an efficient means of transportation that everyone can use. 

“Lyte Aviation’s LA-44 SkyBus is a very promising eVTOL design and with a passenger capacity 10 times that of most competitors, we are confident Lyte can bring about meaningful change in transportation in terms of greater equity, inclusion, and accessibility,” he said. 

Lyte officially unveiled the 17-ton SkyBus in March 2023, saying it can travel distances of 1,000 km at a top speed of 300 kph. The electric aircraft is powered by a hybrid-electric powertrain that utilizes hydrogen and sustainable aviation fuel (SAF).

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