Tag: Hybrid aircraft

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

“The Journey of an Aerospace Start-up” RAeS Lecture

“The Journey of an Aerospace Start-up” RAeS Lecture

Faradair gave a recent lecture to the Bristol branch of the Royal Aeronautical Society (RAeS) to share the journey of an Aerospace start-up over the last three years.

From discussing the foundations for starting an aviation company and the commercial aircraft market to the lessons learned and the exciting opportunities, Faradair Managing Director Neil Cloughley gave a frank, honest and open dialogue about the journey and challenges faced by anyone thinking of becoming an aerospace entrepreneur, especially within the UK.

 “Some of the issues that R.J. Mitchell encountered then, 80 years ago, we still have now…. how can that be?” – Neil pointed out

Over 100 people attended the hour long lecture and appreciated the extra time given for the Q&A at the end.

They heard from the heart with regards to the journey, awards won and their meaning to Neil and the team. The rationale for Hybrid aircraft versus pure electric aircraft today was presented, a market leading position the company took back in 2014.

Neil explained why the Faradair team has the expertise to deliver their goals, the rationale behind their thinking, whilst demonstrating an understanding of the market challenges and the realistic path for the future. Other points highlighted covered the area of ‘Air Mobility’, airtaxi, manned drones and the genuine multi-role capability of the BEHA aircraft.

Never one to ‘pull his punches’, Neil has strong opinions based on years of experience. He believes that in order to progress, we must first learn to accept and challenge the mistakes of the past in order to build a solid opportunity for the future, “This means I often do not ‘toe the line’ and sometimes the information heard can be uncomfortable for some,” he adds.

“I am extremely grateful to the RAeS Bristol branch for the opportunity to share our journey so far. We’re in exciting times with Faradair as we take our plans to the next level.”.

Why not grab a coffee, sit down and have a watch of the video below and hear about the Journey of an aerospace start-up (Lecture is 1 hour the Q&A at the end is 20 minutes) and if you would like to find out more or become involved with this fantastic team and the UK’s leading hybrid aircraft development programme, then please do not hesitate to contact us.


Faradair® announces new R&D office at Swansea University

Faradair® announces new R&D office at Swansea University


Offering Welsh university students the unique opportunity to change the face of aviation, double award winning new UK hybrid aircraft manufacturer Faradair® is opening a research and development (R&D) centre at Swansea University’s College of Engineering under the supervision of Dr Ben Evans, Associate Professor in Aerospace Engineering.

This new collaboration gives Post Doctorate students keen to enter the aviation industry the opportunity to apply for an exciting aerospace research and development role in Wales. In addition, existing students will be tasked with problem solving as part of an actual new aircraft development programme, as opposed to simple theory for ‘what if’ scenarios.

The office will open with the new intake of students in September 2017 and will become a key part of the multi-role, 6-8 seat BEHA (Bio Electric Hybrid Aircraft) development programme. Combining latest technologies with innovation, BEHA’s unique design and hybrid propulsion system will not only revolutionise urban flying through reduced operational costs and the considerable reduction in noise and emissions pollution, but it will also serve a number of alternative roles including unmanned operations, light cargo, patrol, tourism and regional air taxi duties. Dr Evans was appointed Chief Aerodynamicist for Faradair® earlier this year.

“We are thrilled to announce this partnership with Swansea University,” says Neil Cloughley, Managing Director, Faradair® Aerospace Limited. “We have been so impressed with the Swansea Bay campus, its new facilities and most importantly the enthusiasm that Dr Evans and all the team members in the aerospace engineering department have for our new aircraft project.

He continues: “We have been extremely fortunate to secure a truly fantastic group of partners including PRODRIVE, Avidyne Corporation, Veale Wasbrough Vizards and now Swansea University, placing us in the perfect position to begin the ‘scale-up’ process of support so often described and offered by politicians and local Government.”

Dr Ben Evans says “Having worked for the best part of a decade on aerodynamic simulation and design optimisation for the BLOODHOUND SSC Land Speed Record vehicle; it is now a real privilege to be involved in the Faradair BEHA design. The technology and lessons learnt from designing BLOODHOUND are now being applied to this ground-breaking new bio-electric aircraft.  The Faradair® BEHA has the potential to revolutionise the aerospace sector with capabilities never seen before from an aircraft of this size.  I, along with my team, at Swansea University’s College of Engineering look forward to continued collaboration with Faradair® as we take the BEHA from concept design through to flight testing over the next couple of years”.

Mr Cloughley continues “This new R&D facility at Swansea University will enable Faradair® to fine tune the BEHA aircraft design and deliver the performance profile needed for the prototype aircraft prior to its maiden flight in 2020. We envisage this office will grow over the next two years, creating employment opportunity within Wales as the BEHA program develops”.


To find out more about this exciting aviation project visit www.faradair.com

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


– Ends –

May 2017


Notes to editors

The BEHA (Bio Electric Hybrid Aircraft) is the brainchild of commercial aviation and former IT entrepreneur Neil Cloughley. He believes his new venture ‘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. In just 24 months Faradair has inserted itself into the new air mobility sector and has become the UK’s leading new hybrid aircraft programme, winning two awards in 2016 for new business development and Gloucestershire’s business award for ‘Innovation’.

Over £9billion revenue was generated last year in rail ticket fees, from over 4.5 million journeys per day according to Government statistics. Faradair’s mission is to provide alternative air transport opportunity that competes with road and rail, by defeating the primary objections of ‘noise, cost and emissions’ that currently hinder air transport use in a regional environment. BEHA is an aircraft that can offer a viable regional transport capability, reducing the burden on land based transport systems, whilst providing an efficient, faster and more exclusive way to commute and travel on a regional basis. Whilst many come up with unrealistic expectations of pure electric flight opportunities today, lack of power density from battery technology means the most sensible and viable aircraft solutions will be hybrid based in the short term and several major corporations have now cancelled their pure electric propositions, choosing to follow the ideas put forward by Faradair® back in 2014.

About Faradair

Faradair is a new aviation company based in the heart of the Cotswolds in the UK. This 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. While the opportunity for pure electric flight is the long term goal for much of the aviation sector, there exists an opportunity today for hybrid solutions enabling the six seat Bio-Electric-Hybrid-Aircraft (BEHA) to carve its position as one of the leading eco-friendly aircraft types of a new aircraft generation.

The exciting Joint Venture between Faradair and Prodrive called ‘Hybraero’ is currently developing a new form of hybrid aviation engine that not only creates a propulsion system for BEHA, but it creates a stand-alone market opportunity to provide power for other hybrid aviation projects. The new Hybraero H600 engine is a 600hp capable hybrid propulsion engine incorporating a clean sheet design, internal combustion engine powered by JetA1 or Biofuel, with integrated electric motors for quiet, clean take-off and recovery operations.


Further information can be found in this introduction video – https://youtu.be/_5YdlXN00-8


For more information or high resolution images please contact:

Faradair Aerospace Limited

Website: www.faradair.com

Email – info@faradair.com

Tel – +44 1285 700811

Finalist for Business Innovation award

Finalist for Business Innovation award


Faradair Aerospace, the new UK hybrid aircraft manufacturer has been named a finalist in the business innovation category in the Gloucestershire Business Awards.

As one of the most prestigious events in the local calendar since they were first held 19 years ago the awards recognise and celebrate new talent, and share the success of established Gloucestershire firms and business people.

The business innovation award recognises business that has introduced a new product, process, invention, idea, or design that has made a significant contribution to the business.

“We are delighted to hear we are a finalist in the business innovation category in these awards,” says Neil Cloughley, Managing Director, Faradair Aerospace Limited. “Innovation is what we’re about. Our pioneering carbon composite six seat aircraft, BEHA, (Bio-Electric-Hybrid-Aircraft) incorporates the latest in hybrid aerospace technologies, and it will provide a new class of eco-friendly aircraft able to meet the future aviation requirements of lower operating costs, safer operational capability and lower noise and emissions.”

“As well as our BEHA program, we have also recently partnered with world-leading motorsport and technology business Prodrive to develop a hybrid aviation engine,” he continues. “This is a very exciting partnership – a key feature of this new engine is the ability to switch propulsion source in the event of an emergency should either power source fail. This provides the pilot with the ability to find a safe landing area outside of glideslope range, curing a problem faced by all existing single engine pilots in the event of a stoppage.”

Prodrive joins Cranfield University and Avidyne Corporation as key partners to Faradair. Since its launch less than two years ago, Faradair’s BEHA program has attracted global interest; its innovative design was reported across a variety of media in over 30 countries and now Faradair is being invited to speak at multiple international conferences and is receiving a growing interest within the investment community.

To find out more about this exciting aviation project visit www.faradair.com

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

The winners will be announced at Gloucestershire Business Awards dinner on Thursday 6 October 2016.

– Ends –

September 2016


Notes to editors

The BEHA is the brainchild of commercial aviation and former IT entrepreneur Neil Cloughley. He believes his new venture ‘Faradair’ is evolving at the perfect time for clean-technology and environmentally friendly aircraft and as a result, the programme is attracting world class, market leading partners which in turn is generating increased global interest in BEHA. The greatest challenge and restriction from further aviation sector growth comes from emissions and noise output from Aircraft. Neil has created a team, a company, a brand and an initial aircraft design concept that could significantly increase urban aviation opportunity. In just 12 months Faradair has inserted itself into a market and in 12 years it intends to be one of the leading companies in the sector.

 About Faradair

Faradair is a new start-up aviation company based in the heart of the Cotswolds in the UK. This Cirencester start-up is working with a select group of partners to deliver an innovative prototype aircraft, targeted for completion by 2018. While the opportunity for pure electric flight is the long term goal for much of the aviation sector, the opportunity for hybrid solutions today enables the six seat Bio-Electric-Hybrid-Aircraft (BEHA) to carve its position as one of the leading eco-friendly aircraft types of a new aircraft generation.

Faradair aims to be the world’s largest hybrid aircraft manufacturer and hybrid aviation technologies provider 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:

Neil Cloughley

Managing Director

Faradair Aerospace Limited

Website: www.faradair.com

Email – info@faradair.com

Tel – +44 1285 700811

BEHA continues development path

BEHA continues development path

Today we reveal the latest visualisation image of BEHA, incorporating some minor design tweaks.

As we get closer to our new hybrid engine, much of our focus will turn to the development of this new power unit over the coming year. However we continue to develop the BEHA airframe and will be making a further announcement regarding a new major partner in this area soon.

Having completed our initial wing analysis CFD work with Cranfield University toward the end of last year, it became apparent there were a number of areas around the airframe that would require some further design development. One of these areas related to the wing fins and integrated stabiliser gear and over the last few months we have been working to improve this.

Our team is gradually expanding and some new faces will be joining our executive team and we look forward to introducing them to you all in the coming months, along with insight into their backgrounds and past project experiences. These new team members will be primarily focused in our engineering and project management team as we begin the development work on the new hybrid engine.

Related to that subject, Neil Cloughley and Jason Saunders recently visited AERO2016 in Friedrichshafen, Germany, meeting with our partners at Avidyne Corporation, along with some potential new partners to the development programme. During the show they had the great pleasure of spending some time with our friends at Volocopter, discussing the new opportunities of ‘E-mobility’ and urban air transport. Volocopter recently completed its first manned test flight and its experience of start-up life in the aviation sector, mirrored a number of our own experiences to date.

A key are of interest to both companies relates to the ever present discussion about ‘certification’ and the issues related to this topic. Part 23 and the initiatives by the FAA to try and streamline this process is important to all new aircraft manufacturers, if we are to allow innovation within the general aviation community. There are hopes that EASA will follow FAA lead with simplified certification processes, however our meeting with them at Aero2016 highlighted the areas that still require some further simplification. One of the most obvious areas relates to costs. If the regulatory authorities could examine the cost structure process, this would be an enormous boost to the start-up aviation community, as the cash-flow challenges for a start-up are different to the cash-flow capabilities of established aviation companies.

One size does not fit all and if the regulatory authorities could consider deferring some fees or percentages thereof until the aircraft actually achieves certification, then this will encourage and assist new companies entering the aerospace sector – after all, what is the point in nearly bankrupting a small start-up business through excessive fees, thus hindering the opportunity to actually produce the aircraft the company is trying to certify?

Working with our friends and colleagues at Avidyne, we are being kept up to date with developments surrounding Part 23 and as we develop, we hope to add our voice to the debate being championed by the likes of GAMA (General Aviation Manufacturers Association). Look out for our next update when we intend to share news about our hybrid engine development programme and some exciting new partners.

Our programme is on track and we look forward to BEHA taking to the skies by 2020, thank you for your continued support and stay safe in blue skies!

Drone delivery – A realistic perspective

Drone delivery – A realistic perspective

An opinion piece on drone delivery by Faradair® Managing Director – Neil Cloughley

A lot has been mentioned recently about ‘drone’ delivery services. Companies such as Amazon, Google, DHL and others are pushing a view that we will all soon be receiving our packages via drone delivery device.

Whilst there is no doubt that autonomous delivery technology will arrive, the manner in which this is delivered is still very much open to debate. At Faradair®, we have a more realistic vision for drone delivery; however we prefer the term UAV (Unmanned Air Vehicle) delivery.


Having been involved in and around military drones at a young age in the mid 1980’s, I learned a great deal about the trials and tribulations of ‘drones’ (RPV’s back in the day) and some of the major problems that come from flying powered craft anywhere near areas of population. There is nothing more disturbing for a UAV operator than to realise that the aircraft is no longer responding to commands and subsequently realising that the ‘failsafe’ back-up is not responding either. Put this scenario in an urban environment and the scenario becomes even more critical.

There are two major problems for drone delivery and they come in the form of ‘payload’ capability and ‘communication’.

Payload – In order for any reasonable size of package to be delivered economically, it requires an air vehicle with some considerable mass to sensibly lift said payload safely. This in itself creates a major problem as the larger the air vehicle gets, the greater the impact threat, resulting in considerable damage and harm risk to those under the operational flight-path. If the air vehicle gets bigger, how do you power this drone? Electric can only get you so far, so does this mean a heavy fuel option? A hybrid power system? A winged option rather than multi-rotor? Will noise become an issue?


In terms of impact threat, there are multiple potential collision and third party damage issues that drones in an urban space could cause and many people are ignoring the collateral damage risk of an out of control drone. For example, if a package delivery drone crashes on a dual carriageway and a car swerves to avoid it causing an even bigger incident that possibly results in serious injury, the question that will be asked is – Who is to blame?


Would it be the driver of the car? The pilot of the drone? The package delivery company or the person that ordered the product? With today’s litigious society, it could be all of the above. This is just one example of the significant risk factors that make urban ‘to your door’ drone delivery an extremely difficult proposition to enable safely.

Just this weekend a number of national newspapers around the world printed articles highlighting the ugly threat of terrorism and the use of drones to deliver ‘dirty payloads’ over a city. Currently, a drone flying down a major city street is a rare sight and therefore easier to detect and deal with. If however the sight of delivery drones became commonplace, then the ability to hide a significant threat within that flight traffic becomes a much larger problem.

So as you can see, the notion of drone delivery is great, the realistic constraints of the world we live in today, are a little more difficult to overcome.

Communication – As demonstrated when the American military lost one of its most advanced UAV’s in the Middle East, drones do come down when you least expect them to and more often than not, this is related to loss of communication. Suffice to say that most delivery companies will not be using the level of secure satellite communications available to the US military, therefore the risk of a civilian drone going AWOL is significantly higher than their military cousins.

The urban environment is now a thick soup of signals and electronic transmissions, from Wi-Fi, to Mobile and Satellite signals, etc. Flying a drone into this environment is going to open it to the risk of signal loss and at that moment, it just might not do what you expect it to do, which may result in a scenario such as that above. Worse still, the drone may be subject to ‘payload hijack’ by criminal gangs and who knows how elaborate these schemes could become.

DHL DroneSome of these concerns were proven recently when a DHL drone delivery demonstration was called off by that ‘naysayer’- Mother Nature;

due to a sudden drop in temperature and accompanying snow which would make piloting the drone unreliable

This is a drone that was advertised as being “well-suited for use in mountain regions where snow, wind and cold temperatures are prevalent” can anyone else see the problem here?


So, if this is not the immediate future of drone delivery….what is?

At Faradair® we have long planned for our BEHA commuter aircraft to be ‘Drone/UAV’ capable and we see a different delivery model opportunity.

Amazon has just recently penned a deal to lease 20 Boeing 767 Freighter Aircraft, showing their intention to take over their entire logistic delivery process. Not good news for the likes of FedEx or UPS. However this was always somewhat inevitable and we foresee a drone delivery market where operators such as Amazon will take your order; goods then go from their warehoused facilities to the local airport, whereupon the Amazon cargo aircraft then fly to cargo hub airports such as East Midlands Airport in the UK (Much cheaper than trying to get a slot at Heathrow), before being sent out for further delivery by truck.

But what if the next step from arrival hub airport, saw packages unloaded into a fleet of BEHA drones instead of trucks? These six seat sized aircraft, with their short take-off and landing capability could then be sent off on an autonomous route, in a designated ‘air corridor’ for UAV’s.


This takes the drone delivery flight away from major populace areas and the corridor would be clearly designated to other airspace users as a Drone flight channel. Due to the quiet flight capability of the BEHA, this operation could take place at night with no impact on the local populace. Upon arrival of the Drone at a local hub depot, local employed private couriers could then collect the parcels and deliver them 24/7. The UAV BEHA once unloaded then flies back to the main hub airport to reload with packages and head off to a different delivery venue.


The UAV industry has some 30-40 years of experience in drone operations and whilst there are some significant opportunities for drone delivery in the future, investors and fund managers need to consider the realistic constraints of UAV operations over any suburban populace and in that regard, at some point you will have to deal with the aviation authorities. The likes of the FAA, CAA, EASA and other regulatory authorities around the world, have a duty of care of the global airspace and the restrictions placed on manned helicopter operations in and around cities are most likely set to apply to heavy–lift, multi-rotor style delivery drones. If there is a chance that such a delivery drone may collide with a manned aircraft on approach to a major airport like Heathrow for example (i.e. collision avoidance failure on the drone), then the proposition will be pushed back even further.

Not that long ago, a drone almost collided with a military helicopter and despite the warnings, there are still grossly irresponsible people flying their small camera drones near airports. It is for these reasons that drone delivery in urban areas has a very long way to go and some of the hyperbole surrounding the subject matter is not helping to advance the principle. However, we believe there is a path for drone package/light freight delivery via traditional autonomous aircraft and it is an option that can be achieved sensibly and with the complete co-operation of regulatory authorities in the near future.

This subsector of UAV operations is an exciting opportunity area, so watch this space!



Neil Cloughley

Managing Director – Faradair® Aerospace Limited