Author: Faradair

The UK's pioneering hybrid electric aircraft manufacturer. Three model variants the BEHA M1H an 18 passenger seat hybrid Turbopropfan in quick change 'combi' configuration able to carry three LD3 cargo containers and carry 5 tonnes of payload. The BEHA M1AT an autonomous capable unmanned drone for aerial firefighting, logistics or refueling and the BEHA E1 an all electric propulsion variant of the 18 seat passenger aircraft.
Faradair® announces hybrid electric commercial flight capability from 2025

Faradair® announces hybrid electric commercial flight capability from 2025

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

At Revolution.aero in London today, the British aerospace start-up Faradair®, has revealed its intention to certify its revolutionary 18 seat, hybrid electric ‘BEHA’ aircraft (Bio Electric Hybrid Aircraft) by 2025 for passenger operations.

Designated the BEHA_M1H, this hybrid powered aircraft utilises a design patented ‘Triple Box-wing’ high-lift configuration, delivering Short Take-Off and Landing (STOL) capability requiring less than 300 meters of runway. With twin contra-rotating ‘propfans’ within a vectored thrust, acoustic reduction duct that improves efficiency and reduces noise to a target of just 60dba at take-off.

After four years of development, both simulated and scale model testing, the design has evolved into a utilitarian configuration, capable of carrying 18 passengers or three LD3 cargo containers, with an internal payload capability of FIVE TONNES.

The aircraft will be able to change configuration in 15 minutes from cargo to passenger and vice versa and the company is already in discussion with potential civilian and non-civilian customers for this class leading capability. London to Manchester could be flown in just 42 minutes at a cruise speed of 230mph (HS2 would take 1hour and 8 minutes by comparison)

As one of the earliest hybrid electric aerospace start-up’s founded in 2014, UK based Faradair® has had to survive on angel investment funding and partner input in order to develop its new aircraft design. The UK aerospace innovation funding environment is geared toward the major Tier1 aerospace primes, with just 4% of Government aerospace innovation funding going to SME’s in recent years.

Whilst there is a boom of interest in Urban Air Mobility and E-VTOL aircraft globally, there is very little UK based VC or Private Equity interest in young aerospace programmes, despite the significant revenue opportunities.

Unlike many E-VTOL projects currently proposed, the Faradair® BEHA is a traditional aircraft, certifiable to existing Part23 standards, able to operate from existing airfields but more importantly, able to operate from runways of 300m or less of any surface and be able to integrate within existing air networks.

Its hybrid propulsion system combing electric motors with a Turboprop engine will result in lower operating costs, lower emissions and increased safety redundancy. The aircraft will use existing battery technology for emergency power and ground operations.

Last year Faradair® secured the support of the All Party Parliamentary Group for General Aviation with 172 MP members lead by Grant Shapps MP and the support of the Chairman of the Defence Committee Dr Julian Lewis MP, who in his letter of support noted “We should not undervalue the ability of smaller companies, like this one, to rapidly innovate new products and this project strikes me as hugely flexible and adaptable for a wide range of tasks” he continued “I would certainly encourage colleagues within Government and the public sector, along with suitable industry partners, to support Faradair® in its quest to deliver the first flying prototypes of this highly versatile system”.

Grant Shapps MP said this of the programme “The company vision for a British built aircraft that is able to deliver a range of roles both in civilian and non-civilian configuration is fascinating. The prospect of hybrid-electric flight and the ability for people throughout the UK and around the world to fly regionally as simply as taking a bus, is a future that opens up so much regional growth benefit opportunity” he continued “Most importantly, Faradair reminds us of our history in aerospace innovation and how we may rebuild aircraft manufacturing facilities from General Aviation airfields currently under threat of closure. I genuinely believe the Faradair BEHA is an exciting opportunity for the UK, both in civilian and non-civilian configuration and I hope we will see the this new British Aerospace manufacturer grow, develop and create jobs with the appropriate backing and funding to prove that the UK can continue to design and build world class, whole aircraft systems”

BEHA – The UK’s pioneering hybrid electric aircraft programme

It is an exciting time for the UK based Start-up, despite the uncertainties and challenges of Brexit. The company has managed to maintain its programme development with relatively low budget versus its International competitors, but this has not stopped it from advising the UK Government on Future Flight policy nor held it back from winning three business awards and International pitching events. The company has spoken at conferences around the world and been partly responsible for more focus and collaboration in the UK Urban Air Mobility sector.

Managing Director of Faradair® Neil Cloughley has a formidable knowledge of this exciting new market, built from over decade in the commercial aerospace sector and a family background in the early military UAV markets. He has been at the forefront of the hybrid electric aerospace revolution since 2014 and after a great deal of blood, sweat and tears, the programme is now attracting the interest of various tier1 primes and potential customers around the world.

It’s been a rollercoaster, but days like today make it all worthwhile. Our Angel investors and families have kept us going when other projects have breezed through funding rounds, but we always knew the market would come back to us when people understood the economic viability of the aircraft design. So many of the constraints surrounding E-VTOL and UAM simply do not apply to our vehicle and that is why as a result, we will be able to deliver mass transit regional air mobility at a price that everyone can afford” Managing Director of Faradair® Neil Cloughley said.

He continues – “We have always believed in the opportunity of hybrid propulsion to help reduce noise and operating costs in a specifically designed airframe optimised for regional flight capability, based on our management team’s experience of the commercial aircraft market. The BEHA M1H variant, multi-role aircraft, will allow operators the ability to provide viable air transport services including; scheduled commuting flights, flight training and charter by day and the ability to use the quiet flight characteristics and payload capability for cargo operations at night. This opens market opportunities not served by existing aircraft, due to the lower noise signature and load capability. Our hybrid propulsion system mixes the proven capability of existing turboprop engines which could be run on biofuel if desired, with the fuel saving and increased safety opportunity of additional electric propulsion”

Faradair® intends to offer a fully electric powered variant of the BEHA as battery technology evolves but in the meantime, hybrid propulsion offers an immediate progression into the ‘more electric aircraft’ environment, helping to reduce carbon footprint and noise, whilst delivering increased transport choice.

Cloughley says “Our order book is now open and we look forward to working with potential customers and airport operators, as we begin the build of our first demonstration prototypes later this year, intended for flight trials by 2022. It has been an incredible journey to date, but it is only just beginning and BEHA is going to help put British aircraft manufacturing back on the map”.

Ends – March 2019

Faradair® announces unmanned, autonomous firefighting ‘Air Tanker’

Faradair® announces unmanned, autonomous firefighting ‘Air Tanker’

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Following on from a very successful Farnborough Airshow in July ( https://youtu.be/bH7oOwPMpg8 ) Faradair Aerospace Limited is pleased to announce a Drone variant of the Turboprop powered BEHA M1 (Bio Electric Hybrid Aircraft), in firefighting specification called the BEHA M1-AT (Air Tanker).

Considerable interest has already been shown in the BEHA M1 military variant following the popular International Airshow, with discussions now ongoing as to exact specification capability and design optimisation adjustment to fulfil those roles.

With unrivalled payload lifting profile and capability of the BEHA M1 revealed in July, it was a natural progression to be able to demonstrate additional roles and capabilities of the aircraft. With increased global temperatures and growing numbers of forest fires, the requirement for airborne firefighting capability is increasing. However the operating cost for many of these aircraft often results in fires getting out of control when they could have been contained sooner with immediate fire suppression.

BEHA M1-AT

The ability to fly a fleet of autonomous drone BEHA M1-AT’s to a fire location, providing continuous low level delivery with greater payload capability than helicopters for less operational cost and zero pilot risk, is an attractive proposition. Powered by a 2000 horsepower turboprop engine (yet to be finalised), the BEHA M1-AT offers nations and firefighting services, an aircraft that can fly autonomous fire retardant delivery, without risk to a manned crew in repeat cycles over an autonomous track.

To date, former WW2 era bombers and converted civilian jets have been used to deliver large scale firefighting capability, but that scale increases costs and pilot risk. The 11 meter wingspan BEHA M1-AT with a 10 tonne payload capability offers the operator an opportunity to acquire a fleet of aircraft, for a fraction of the acquisition and operational costs of helicopters, flying in rotation to combat the smaller fires and to prevent them becoming larger fires.

The aircraft’s unique ‘triple box-wing’ configuration allows extremely short take-off and landing capability whilst also allowing the aircraft to lift large payloads with hybrid flight capability if required. BEHA can operate from any surface, in confined spaces with protection of the propeller in the rear duct, lessening the risk of Foreign Object Damage (FOD) during payload delivery runs. The all carbon composite airframe is lightweight and extremely strong, allowing for larger payloads to be carried, making it perfect for anti-fire operations.

We have always said that our new BEHA aircraft platform is focused more on multi-role functionality than specific focus in one class of flight (Urban Air Mobility) and this firefighting drone configuration really highlights that capability. Obviously the ability to carry retardant also opens the opportunity for refuelling in the military environment, possibly negating the need for resupply fuel tracks or even low cost air to air refuelling option for the F35B from carriers without ‘cats n traps’. It is a genuinely exciting aircraft and we are now tweaking the design of the airframe to ensure the most volume can be achieved from the payload capability” Managing Director of Faradair® Neil Cloughley said.

He continues – “With our management teams past experience of the UAV sector, the ability to offer a pure UAV variant of BEHA has always been something we were keen to pursue and with the growing number of fires, possibly related to global warming, we saw a great opportunity to ensure that every nation can afford airborne firefighting capability. We would be delighted to open dialogue with firefighting departments and commercial airtanker providers throughout the world to see how the BEHA M1-AT can fit within their portfolio of operations”.

The BEHA is currently undergoing design optimisation at Swansea University and scale model flights have been conducted from a satellite office in Sweden. Talks are ongoing with UK Government investment groups and new partners to ensure this exciting UK aerospace start-up continues to grow.

To find out more about Faradair® visit www.faradair.com

Faradair® can also be found at: www.facebook.com/Faradair and Twitter @Faradair

– Ends –

AUGUST 2018

Notes to editors

The BEHA (Bio Electric Hybrid Aircraft) is the brainchild of commercial aviation and former IT entrepreneur Neil Cloughley. He believes ‘Faradair®’ is evolving at the perfect time for clean-technology and environmentally friendly aircraft, resulting in a programme that is attracting world class, market leading partners which in turn is generating increased global interest in BEHA and Urban Air Mobility. Neil has created a team, a company, a brand and an initial aircraft design concept that could significantly increase urban and military aviation opportunity. In just 4 years Faradair® has inserted itself into the aerospace market and it intends to be one of the leading companies in this new aviation sector.

About Faradair

Since 2014 Faradair® remains the UK’s pioneering hybrid electric aircraft Development Company. This double award winning Cirencester start-up is working with a select group of partners to deliver innovative prototype aircraft and propulsion systems that are set for trials over the next three years. Faradair®’s early vision for hybrid electric regional air transport is now being adopted by many of the major tier 1 aerospace primes, yet the Bio-Electric-Hybrid-Aircraft (BEHA) remains the UK’s most advanced programme with flight tests of scale models already underway.

Faradair® aims to be one of the world’s leading hybrid aviation technology companies and future projects include a larger regional commuter variant of BEHA. This will significantly reduce the impact of intercity commercial aviation on the environment and on those living within close proximity of airports, whilst also providing a financially viable alternative to road and rail transport.

For further information please contact:

Faradair Aerospace Limited

Website: www.faradair.com

Email – info@faradair.com

Tel – +44 1285 700811

New team member and podcast

New team member and podcast

We are very pleased to announce a new team member to our advisory board – Aidan Stevens

Aidan has been helping the company for a few months and has agreed to join the advisory board, bringing his knowledge and experience from the financial markets, LEP’s, SME and start-up operations and private equity investment.

His input during our current funding negotiations adds a further experienced voice to the Faradair team and enables the company to consider new finance structures and opportunities as we enter the growth phase of our programme. Below is the bio description on our advisory board page;

Aidan Stevens is a Finance specialist with over 15 years’ experience in Finance & Investment Banking.  During his time in Finance he held senior roles at JPMorgan and Credit Suisse in London and New York, and most recently was head of Emerging Markets Fixed Income Derivatives Trading for Credit Suisse in London.  Aidan’s areas of expertise include complex derivative transactions and the development and growth of new business lines.

 

Since leaving Investment Banking in 2012 Aidan has successfully founded a hotel group (Veritas Hotels), involving the acquisition and turnaround of two separate hotel businesses. He is also a member of the Worcestershire LEP Business Board.

 He is passionate about helping SMEs grow and has acted as an Advisor to a handful of start-up firms.

 

 

We welcome Aidan to the team and look forward to working with him over the coming months and years.

 

New Podcast

Dr Rainer Groh of Aerospace Engineering Blog has conducted an interview with our MD – Neil Cloughley

In this conversation, they talk about;

  • the engineering behind BEHA
  • the challenging economics of new aviation businesses
  • his long-term vision for a regional Uber-like taxi service in the sky
  • and much, much more

We encourage you to visit the website and listen to the podcast, to hear our vision for the future and most importantly the rationale behind it, highlighting the depth of experience behind this programme.

Podcast Ep. #9 – Faradair Founder Neil Cloughley on the Bio-Electric Hybrid Aircraft and Regional Aviation

Commuting via hybrid aircraft

Commuting via hybrid aircraft

Commuting and daily regional air flights took one step closer to reality today as Faradair® begins wind tunnel and flight testing scale models of its 200+mph BEHA (Bio Electric Hybrid Aircraft), an aircraft specifically designed for intercity flight and air commuting.

Faradair®, the UK’s leading hybrid aircraft development start-up believes its planned ‘Sky Hailing’ service via an App on your phone, will make regional and commuting flights commonplace through use of its futuristic looking BEHA.

Air Commuting

“To begin the scale model testing of our BEHA aircraft after just three years of development is incredibly exciting,” explains Neil Cloughley, Managing Director, Faradair®. “The ability to begin regional intercity and commuting flights is essential if we are considering getting anywhere swiftly and cost effectively. To date we have not been able to do that via existing light aircraft and helicopters due to noise, cost of operations and concerns over emissions, restricting this form of transportation to the wealthiest individuals.”

He continues “We have solved these issues and so in addition to creating the aircraft and propulsion necessary to make our vision a reality; we have also decided to deliver this capability via a total platform solution similar to the ride hailing companies, except people will be sky hailing instead.”

It’s an ambitious target for the British company especially with the focus recently being on vertical take-off and landing ideas. However with over 100 years of collective aerospace experience, Faradair® has proven over the last couple of years that its more traditional vision for hybrid flight today as opposed to pure electric is the way to move forwards, so much so that this vision is now being embraced by the major Tier 1 aerospace companies.

Main features of the aircraft include:

  • design patented triple box wing configuration for extremely slow flight and Short Take-Off and Landing (STOL) capability
  • carrying six to eight passengers to their chosen destination in a comfortable, quiet cabin
  • pushed through the air by a new British designed hybrid propulsion system that incorporates electric motors for the take-off before switching to a new biofuel/JetA1 (Fuel to be chosen by the operator) powered internal combustion engine.

This new hybrid propulsion system is being developed in partnership with leading advanced engineering firm – PRODRIVE. “Based on its recent development work within automotive hybrid engine and technology sector, Prodrive was selected by Faradair® as the perfect partner to develop a new hybrid propulsion system,” Cloughley explains. “We have formed a joint venture with Prodrive called ‘Hybraero’ to deliver the new hybrid aviation engine prototypes.”

The Hybraero H600 is a 600hp engine that combines electric motors; an internal combustion engine and battery pack for less weight than many existing general aviation engines. The system allows the operator to taxi and take-off under electric power, before switching to the clean sheet design, internal combustion engine for the cruise part of the flight.

By selecting this form of parallel hybrid propulsion, it allows the first moves into an electric flight future without the battery weight penalty currently hampering an all-electric design. Faradair® believe the issues with existing battery technologies means  claims  for long distance flight and certification are unlikely to be delivered anytime soon.

“Hybrid power is deliverable now; it offers safety back-up if there is ever a problem with either propulsion mode and the benefits of reduced noise and emissions from the electric take-off that will assist in the push towards Paris Climate agreement targets,” says Cloughley.

The engine is set to begin testing by the end of 2018 and there is considerable interest from other manufacturers to fit the propulsion system as a retrofit to existing small aircraft.

“Creating an aerospace start-up in the UK is the toughest thing I have ever done, but over the last three years our team has worked flat out to deliver the capability behind our vision for intercity air transport and air mobility commuting.” Cloughley continues. “The global population is increasing and existing infrastructure is not keeping pace with that population growth, therefore there is only so much capacity that land based transport solutions can deliver. Therefore when demand outstrips supply those commuting on those transport systems daily are often forced to pay higher fares whilst receiving an inferior service.”

“How can we honestly state that a peak ticket rail fare into London over of £200 for a less than 200 mile journey is any form of transport progress?,” he asks. “Our BEHA aircraft will allow operators to deliver regular scheduled flights for commuters in the peak hours and then then ‘hailed’ during ‘off-peak’ hours via our App, for private bookings and corporate contracts.”

A number of similar start-ups are now trying to replicate the model and vision put forward by Faradair® back in 2014 but it has managed to maintain its advantage in the development curve.

Cloughley adds “We have created an aircraft that is faster, quieter, cheaper to operate and safer than a helicopter, taking off and landing in less than 200 meters and not disturbing local residents as it does so, but all achieved via a sensible cost base model and deliverable technologies.”

Air CommutingFaradair® has an impressive knowledge base and team with experience within the commercial and unmanned aerospace sectors. Its progress recently attracted one the UK’s leading aero dynamicists – Dr Ben Evans – Associate Professor of Aerospace Engineering at Swansea University. He is one of the lead engineers from the BloodhoundSSC land speed record car project. “The Faradair® BEHA has the potential to revolutionise the aerospace sector with capabilities never seen before from an aircraft of this size,” he says.

The BEHA has now begun an optimisation programme under Dr Evans leadership as part of the new R&D office Faradair® is establishing at the University.

 

Winning two awards last year for new business and innovation, Faradair® is set to become one of the UK’s most exciting SME growth companies within the UK aerospace sector and is ideally placed for support via the Government’s new industrial strategy scheme. Both InnovateUK and the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy have set forth plans and visions that are perfectly met by Faradair® and its intercity air transport platform and it will be interesting to see if the company will be one of the first to benefit from such support.

The company is about to begin a major investment funding round and it has already received offers to relocate the business overseas. Mr Cloughley recently gave a lecture to the Royal Aero Society Bristol Branch on the journey of an aerospace start-up, highlighting some of the challenges faced by such companies within a UK aerospace sector dominated by multi-national tier one organisations.

The video of that lecture can be found at https://youtu.be/9OjKPcp4zis

Cloughley’s vision for regional air transport future is one that is now gathering momentum and the total platform solution now offered by Faradair® is going to offer partnership opportunities to some of the organisations now showing interest in this sector.

“Faradair® will enable everyone to benefit from intercity flight opportunity via an aircraft that is affordable to operate by airfields and owner operators,” says Cloughley. “At the same time it is providing a level of safety capability hereto unseen in an aircraft of this size, with back-up propulsion, safety cell carbon composite construction, new materials and nano technology structures combined with ballistic parachute recovery for worst case scenarios.”

The future is looking extremely bright for this start-up that has spoken at international conferences and has led the way in hybrid aircraft development since 2014. It found a problem, designed a solution to solve that problem and a delivery method to enable it begin operations in cities throughout the world.

“Just think back to the time when people thought the idea of ride hailing was undeliverable, now look at the size of those companies delivering those services, we can do the same for regional air transport” says Cloughley.

Cloughley is a visionary; his belief in a ‘Tablet’ computer design back in 2001 was not backed due to the idea of a tablet being a ‘fad’, then Apple came along. Having since spent 13 years in the commercial aircraft market his new vision for regional air transport is now becoming a reality.

“Is Faradair® the new air mobility UBER or Lyft of the skies? Time will tell, but if the decision to invest and support this company was based purely on viability, experience and proven ability to deliver that which they have put forward, then Faradair® is in as strong a position as any and one that the Wright Brothers would most likely have understood and supported,” Cloughley concludes.

*High resolution images are available by request

 

Faradair can also be found at: www.facebook.com/Faradair and Twitter @Faradair

and YouTube – https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCyjOF20yr5cxmiCSJsaAwOw