Faradair Aerospace Limited was formed in September 2014
Faradair® is now recognised as one of the leading new aerospace start-up manufacturers in the hybrid electric aviation sector. The BEHA (Bio Electric Hybrid Aircraft) has been designed specifically to serve the regional air mobility market.
“Until the issues of noise, emissions and operational costs are addressed, the regional and urban aviation market opportunities will be restricted.” – Neil Cloughley, November 2014.
The company was launched to the public on November 17th 2014 with our vision for a new class of ‘Hybrid’ aircraft that could offer owners and operators an economically viable alternative to inter-city road and rail transport,
something that was proving difficult with existing air assets.
The founder of the company – Neil Cloughley, had over 20 years of business experience when he founded Faradair® with 13 of those years in the commercial aerospace sector, leasing, managing, acquiring, selling and financing all manner of commercial aerospace assets, including some for the new commercial Space sector.
The inspiration for Faradair® came from Neil’s childhood, growing up around his fathers innovative Unmanned Air Vehicle (UAV) manufacturing company in the 1980’s. A company that was at the forefront of joined wing technology and one that many considered to be 20 years ahead of its time, creating the world’s first Combat capable UAV. During this time, Neil saw iterations of joined wing air vehicles flown and became familiar with their flight characteristics, including box-wing configurations. This would later sow the seed for the BEHA and the long proven rationale behind the aircraft design and the market opportunity.
Neil is no stranger to innovation and in 2001 in his early business career, he took a device called a ‘tablet computer’ to the CeBit IT Trade Fair in Hannover, Germany (Forerunner to CES). Despite being four years ahead of Apple and their IPad, Neil was unable to convince investors of the likely future market size for Tablets! Lessons were learned.
After many successful years within the commercial aircraft sector, Neil felt the timing was right to establish Faradair® in 2014, creating a team with a wealth of experience (over 100 years of aerospace market knowledge) and developing a product idea and concept that could deliver regional air mobility by hybrid electric propulsion.
BEHA was designed to begin the transition to cleaner, quieter air travel with a revolutionary ‘Triple Box-wing’ design that was granted design patents.
Despite a lot of skepticism in the first year of operations, the company achieved global media coverage, established key industry partners who provided expertise and engineering resources toward programme development. In the second year of operations, the initial BEHA aircraft design began its transformation from a design concept to viable aircraft platform. This rapid development can be seen when you compare the image below from our initial launch to the images you see above and on the website today.
The first concept image and beginning of the BEHA journey
In 2015, Faradair® began speaking at conferences across the world and attending meetings with UK Government departments and those responsible for Aerospace innovation and funding. Despite the convincing case for hybrid electric flight, funding remained a challenge in the UK.
The company did win an ‘Innovation Voucher’ which was spent entirely with Cranfield University to validate the wing design and configuration. It was proven that the configuration works more effectively than alternative configurations and the company continued it’s development programme.
The company forged close ties with its partner companies, especially PRODRIVE in Banbury. In 2016 Faradair® and PRODRIVE formed a joint venture company ‘Hybraero Limited’ to develop a new hybrid propulsion unit, incorporating an internal combustion engine, electric motor and battery pack as a direct fit replacement for many existing general aviation propulsion systems. This has now become a stand-alone development programme.
Between 2016 and 2019 the programme won three awards, advised the UK Government on ‘Future Flight’ strategy in 2017 (published as policy in 2018) and spoke at numerous events, conferences and societies on the subject of Hybrid Electric and full electric flight. It has also won several pitching events and is now widely recognised as the UK’s leading hybrid electric aircraft development programme.
The company is currently engaged with airframe design optimisation utlising CFD analysis with the team at Swansea University
The market forecast by Faradair® back in 2014, is now becoming reality. The market has seen the arrival of UBER and visions for E-VTOLS and the notions of distributed electric aviation is now a much closer reality.
The company has continued its development programme creating scale models and developing at a pace that funds have permitted, utlising partner resources and expanding the contact network of potential new suppliers and partners.
The company expanded its product portfolio in 2018 to offer a Hybrid, full electric and unmanned UAV variant of the BEHA and this has now been defined further with recent announcements.
After five years of hard work, the BEHA M1H was revealed in March of 2019 as the specification for the first prototype aircraft. It is an 18 passenger seat, Quick-Change (QC) cargo capable, Hybrid electric aircraft able to deliver a range of missions in both civilian and non-civilian roles.
More information about the aircraft capability can be found in the BEHA section of this website.
The company is now in dialogue with a number of new partners and suppliers and it has stated it’s intention to have a full size prototype aircraft flying in 2022 and certified by 2025.