Introducing BEHA our ‘Bio Electric Hybrid Aircraft’
There was a time when travelling between cities on a daily basis was relatively common, with none of the security issues of today. Aircraft such as the de Havilland Dragon Rapide (shown right), would shuttle 8-10 passengers between cities and the age of the ‘airliner’ was born. So say that this was the golden age of aviation, but as the ‘jet age’ developed, the costs rose, noise increased and so did emissions. The net result was a gradual reduction in intercity air travel and a reliance once more on road and rail networks.
In the UK between 2015 and 2016, 4.5 million rail journeys were made per day, delivering over £9billion in revenue, as compared to just over 56,000 passengers using air terminals each day for national or domestic flights.
We can do better!
Modern society has become used to using aircraft primarily for long distance trips, to visit continental cities on business or pleasure, but the increased demand for passenger air travel internationally, has placed greater slot value and strain on major airports. Travel on many airlines is proving to be a very unpleasant experience, with some passengers even being assaulted for not giving up a seat with many treated like cattle.
Noise, emissions and operational costs – Unless these issues are solved, it will be difficult to increase regional air traffic mobility.
Faradair was created to solve this problem, with experience to deliver an airframe design that is lightweight, clean, quiet and safe, able to challenge the dominance of road and rail once more and offering a genuine opportunity for increased air mobility.
Combining latest technologies with innovation, BEHA’s unique design will revolutionise urban flying through the considerable reduction in noise and emissions pollution, whilst also reducing operational costs. Faradair is quietly getting on with developing an aircraft that can actually deliver on its promises and most importantly be able to operate in multiple markets, in multiple configurations.
BEHA’s design patented ‘Triple-Box Wing’ configuration generates high lift and exceptional short take off and landing capability combined with an all carbon-composite airframe and a range of advanced safety features that will allow the aircraft to operate in and out of small airfields and landing strips in the urban environment.
Whilst the prospect of all electric flight is exciting, power density in battery technology available today is a restrictive element that ensures an all electric aircraft is not a sensible choice for regional air transport within the next five years. It is for this reason that we focused on hybrid flight opportunity from the beginning of this programme and it would appear to be recognised by the likes of Airbus, who recently cancelled their all electric E-Fan project.
BEHA propulsion is provided via the new Hybraero H600 hybrid engine, with a shrouded prop to reduce noise. The hybrid engine is a parallel hybrid, utilising a new clean sheet design 300hp internal combustion engine (ICE) running on either JetA1 or Biofuel in combination with twin electric motors also capable of delivering 300hp in a pusher configuration for a combined total power of over 600hp.
The electric motors will have enough battery life for up to 10 minutes of electric flight, giving the pilot the choice of whether to use this low noise flight capability for take-off to reducing impact on the local populace, or to keep the electric flight capability in reserve in case of primary power failure. Either way, the ICE engine recharges the battery for the electric motors whilst they are not being used.
BEHA promises relatively unique flight characteristics for an aircraft of its size (12m/40ft wingspan and 10m/32.8ft length) and operational advantages focusing on high-lift generation and economical power. The use of solar skin panels and ram air turbines to create power for the on-board systems, allows more power in the primary battery to be kept for propulsion.
Whilst the aircraft was initially designed for regional flight operations, it’s flight characteristics and capabilities are now opening new market opportunities and mission options, both manned and unmanned.