Lyte Aviation and AAM Institute to launch ferry alternatives


Lyte Aviation and AAM Institute have announced plans to launch alternatives to ferry travel in Seattle, US.

UK-based Lyte has formed a strategic partnership with the AAM Institute, a US non-profit corporation dedicated to public raising awareness of the benefits of AAM globally. The partnership plans to launch on the Bainbridge Island to Redmond route which travels via Seattle. 

“Our future SkyBus is an ideal proposition for the ‘Bainbridge Island – Seattle – Redmond’ connection,” said Lyte Aviation founder and CEO Freshta Farzam. “It will provide a safe, convenient, affordable, sustainable, and much faster transportation option.”

The firm is developing a 40-seat eVTOL it calls the SkyBus LA-44, designed to be five times more fuel efficient than a helicopter. With tandem tilt-wing technology, power will come from hybrid-hydrogen-electric turboprops and electric engines. “The SkyBus is an ideal solution to extend current ferry transport solutions on waterways in the near future for passenger mass and cargo transit,” said Farzam. The firm hopes to be certified in the next five to six years.

Dan Sloat, president and founder of the AAM Institute said: “Lyte Aviation’s 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. Freshta Farzam isn’t afraid of asking bold questions, which is precisely why she will be successful. The AAM Institute welcomes collaboration with dreamers and disruptors like Freshta. Together, we can change the world.”

The route has been designed to support the employees of the corporate headquarters of Microsoft, according to Farzam. 

She added: “There are almost 53,000 employees travelling each day over waterways and congested roadways. It makes this air transportation alternative a fascinating user case for us. Soon, after a long day of work, the daily commute of around 40km will take only 10 min instead of 90min. The SkyBus can take off from a vertiport at the Microsoft campus straight and land at a vertiport pad on the island. The future is faster and more feasible than we realise.”