On International Women’s Day, it seemed the perfect opportunity to highlight an initiative close to taking off in the US, which aims to bring together female pilots, cutting edge technology and environmental kudos for a brand new, groundbreaking pilot school. Here’s what you need to know about the forthcoming Lear Academy.
An all-electric pilot school for women
In a bid to encourage more women into aviation, entrepreneur Erin Lear is launching a pilots academy run by women, for women. Lear Academy features a co-ed training program but with a strong focus on recruiting more female pilots due to the current disproportion in the aviation industry. The pilot school is not only aiming to break down gender barriers, it’s also keen to be kind to the environment too.
The pilot school will use a range of all-electric training vehicles, including a fleet of eFlyer two seaters, eFlyer four seaters, and eventually VTOL aircraft and the Envoy nine seater aircraft. The school aims to find a solution to many contemporary problems, driving down CO2 emissions, solving the pilot shortage, bringing more female pilots into the industry and driving the cost down to achieving a pilot’s license.
Founder Erin Lear said of the school,
“The cost to get your pilots license will be considerably less expensive than traditional flight schools using our fleet of modern high-tech electric aircraft.”
Erin Lear has an impressive background, being a grandchild of William P Lear, inventor of the Learjet. Needless to say, Erin comes from a family with a long history of aviation connections, and is determined to make it easier for more women to get into the industry.
Simple Flying talked to Erin about the employment pathway for flight school graduates. She told us,
“Once graduated at Lear Academy, our pilots with have an opportunity to fly for affiliated air taxi companies such as Quantum Air, and PAX. This will be a platform for our pilots to log more hours flying, all while making extra income.”
These point to point aerial taxi companies will specialize in short distance flights, and will provide ample opportunity for the new graduates to stretch their wings. Quantum Air has agreed to offer two scholarships to a pair of lucky and ambitious ladies. Erin tells us there are more scholarships in the pipeline too.
Working with Bye Aerospace
Lear Academy is working in tandem with George Bye, CEO of Bye Aerospace. Mr. Bye is the inventor of the all-electric eFlyers and the Envoy which will be in use at the school. Speaking about the academy, Mr. Bye said,
“Battery and motor technologies have reached the tipping-point, creating the possibility of 5-times lower ops-cost with no CO2, resulting in an affordability shock wave. We are poised to transform the flight training market in close partnership with Lear Academy and OSM.”
Boeing estimates that over 800,000 new pilots will be required over the next 20 years, five times the number that are flying right now. Bye Aerospace says that industry statistics suggest that as many as 80% of accepted student pilots don’t end up completing the course, with many dropping out due to the cost.
Bye believes it has figured out a solution. By bringing new, all-electric trainers to market, it is driving down the operational costs for flight training. It is also giving the fleet of conventional aircraft training vehicles, which average 50 years old, a much-needed update.
Working with Lear Academy, Bye Aerospace is aiming to be at the forefront of a revolution in pilot training, both in terms of the individuals it is attracting and the aircraft being flown.
The flight school has a launch date of June 2020 and will be taking early deposits for intuition to secure a place in line at the academy. It is currently actively seeking investors and partnerships who share their visions, with a view to expanding Lear Academy around the world.
It’s a new type of flight school which sounds ideally fit for the future. Let us know what you think of Lear Academy in the comments.