Founded by experience and driven by ambition – we invite you to meet the Executives and Advisory Board team members of Faradair® with over 100 years of collective aerospace sector knowledge.
“If we worked on the assumption that what is accepted as true really is true, then there would be little hope for advance.” – Orville Wright, inventor, engineer, test pilot
Neil Cloughley – Managing Director and Founder
Neil is a passionate and experienced Aviation and IT entrepreneur, utilising his market knowledge within the aerospace sector to create a team and company that is able to deliver an exciting new aircraft. In his 20 year career to date he has built key strategic relationships with some of the largest brands in aviation and the information technology sectors, creating a reputation for successfully closing opportunities and generating significant rates of return.
He has first-hand experience working with high profile aviation start-up’s including the likes of Virgin Galactic and Virgin America whilst he was based in San Francisco, providing him valuable insight as to the many pitfalls such businesses can encounter. His commercial aerospace experience includes selling, acquiring, leasing, managing and financing all manner of aviation assets from widebody jets to regional aircraft and engines. He has managed high value portfolios of commercial aerospace assets with in-depth understanding of the leasing community, providing him with the network, skills and experience to lead a commercial proposition in the sector that Faradair® is now targeting.
An accomplished speaker and presenter, Neil has spoken at numerous international conferences around the world regarding the topic of hybrid electric flight and Urban Air Mobility over the last five years. He has advised the UK Department for Transport on ‘Future Flight’ policy, helped establish the Urban Air Mobility working group at the ADS and given lectures at aeronautical societies and Universities, including prestigious institutions such as UC Berkeley in California.
He brings a family legacy within the security, policing and unmanned air vehicle sectors, deriving the BEHA concept from Joined Wing UAV development 30 years ago. In addition to being majority shareholder in Faradair, Neil is also a co-director in Hybraero, the Joint Venture with Prodrive for hybrid propulsion development.
Chris Leeds – Finance Director
Chris has been involved in aviation finance for over 20 years and has held a number of high profile roles. As Director of ECGD (now UK Export Finance), the UK’s official export credit agency he was responsible for all aviation business at ECGD. He then moved to the Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ where he was responsible for a large expansion in both the type of aviation business and the profitability of that business.
As well as being Non-Executive Director of Faradair, Chris is also the CEO of Aviation Finance Solutions Limited. Chris also is a shareholder in Faradair.
Dr Ben Evans – Chief Aerodynamicist
A senior lecturer at Swansea University, Ben is one of the men tasked with keeping the fantastically exciting ‘Bloodhound SSC’ land speed record car on the ground. The 1000mph supersonic car is a test of engineering and aerodynamic capability that showcases the very best of British engineering talent. The skills required to keep a car on the ground at such speeds, requires a level of aerodynamic engineering talent that Faradair® was keen to involve in our aircraft optimisation programme.
His addition to the team is a huge boost, just as the company moves into its next stage of growth. With the latest computer modelling techniques, combined with state of the art aerospace engineering facilities at Swansea University, Ben has the skills and resources needed to help improve the aircraft at this stage of the development process, enabling it to reach it’s full potential at prototype phase.
Jason Saunders – Creative Director
Jason is a design and technology expert and has been working in technical design, digital media, architecture, consumer product innovation and commercial film-making since 1988.
He has extensive experience in creating communication solutions for his clients, which include Foster and Partners, Hammerson PLC, MOD, Infinity and Countryside Properties PLC to help these companies secure finance and sales.
For seven years, Jason worked as a designer, director and production manager in commercial film making and television programme design for the Moving Picture Company, English Pockett and Stak Films. Other business activities include product invention for Aspect Sports, patent application with patents granted, web development and 3D CGI software development for Realsoft.
Jason has known Neil for 20 years, working with him on several projects and even been his best man at his wedding, together they form a formidable development team with a broad spectrum of skills. Jason is a shareholder in Faradair and also a co-director in the Hybraero joint venture with Prodrive.
Annie Waddington-Feather – Marketing and Communications Manager
Annie has over 15 years’ in planning, implementing and managing communication and marketing strategies for external and internal stakeholders. Through communication agencies and her own consultancy, she has worked with a diverse range of trade and consumer clients including business and financial services such as Groupama Insurances, combined heat and power specialist EC Power and power and automation technologies ABB. National and international events clients include the British leg of the World Rally Championships, the World Transplant Games and the Special Olympics Australia IX National Games.
She also brings with her extensive travel experience gained from working as a tour leader for the leading adventure travel company Explore Worldwide. She led tours in the Middle East, North Africa, Central America, Asia and Eastern Europe. Annie is also a shareholder in Faradair.
Faradair Aerospace has compiled an advisory board consisting of highly experienced individuals from various sectors that have important connections for our new aircraft programme. These individuals will be advising the executive management team as the business grows and develops, giving Faradair an experience base capable of delivering programme success.
Toby McCann – Advisory Board Member
Toby has 25+ years’ experience in engineering and flight test, having recently left the Fleet Air Arm where he oversaw the development, certification and introduction to service of a number of aircraft. Intimately involved in the F-35 Lightning programme, he has led international teams working the most advanced 5th generation aircraft in the world. He was part of the aviation design team for the Royal Navy’s new aircraft carrier, worked in USA as a senior airworthiness executive and was privileged to lead the UK’s F-35 developmental flight test programme. Most recently he provided safety and airworthiness assurance across the Royal Navy’s entire aircraft fleet.
As an aviator, Toby has thousands of hour’s flight experience, a mission commander on anti-submarine helicopters, operating from every class of aviation capable Royal Navy ship, in every ocean. A champion of life long learning, he is an Aeromechanical Systems Engineering graduate of Cranfield University, holds an MBA from the Open University and an MDA in International Relations from the Canadian Forces leadership school.
A passionate aviation professional he is now dedicated to the development of sustainable aviation.
Rick Cunliffe – Advisory Board Member
Rick has 50+ years in aviation beginning in the USAF (flying F-4 Phantoms in Vietnam) and serving in a variety of senior positions throughout his distinguished international career in Aerospace. He has significant experience in the defence sector, and general aviation, including achievements in many aspects of the business and will provide great support and introductions to Faradair as we develop our three BEHA variants.
Rick worked with several aerospace leaders globally, including serving as a senior executive in QinetiQ, and was the founder and CEO of Discovery Aviation. He has extensive international experience, and has lived and worked in Europe, Asia, and Africa, and currently serves on several boards in the industry. He received his Bachelors Degree from Tulane University, and his MBA in International Business from the Thunderbird School of Global Management.
Aidan Stevens – Advisory Board Member
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.
Ken Scarince – Advisory Board Member
Ken is an extremely experienced finance consultant based out of Pasadena, California. An aviation sector veteran, he is the former financial controller for Virgin Galactic, having also served as the founding Vice President and Controller at Virgin America, few understand the financial requirements for an aviation start-up better than Ken. Ken’s past experience also includes a Vice President, Finance role at Chicago Express Airlines.
Ken earned an undergraduate degree in Finance at Marquette University in Milwaukee, WI as well as a Master’s Degree in Accounting at the University of Wisconsin. Ken’s determination, experience, contacts and advice will significantly assist Faradair in its future growth.
Erlendur Svavarsson – Advisory Board Member
Erlendur Svavarsson, SVP Sales & Marketing for Loftleidir Icelandic, has worked in the airline industry since 1992, when he began his career at Air Atlanta. Erlendur worked there until 2001 when he took the post as station manager in Stockholm, Sweden for MD Airlines, where he later assumed the position of Director of Sales and Marketing. In 2003 Erlendur took a position at Loftleiðir Icelandic as project manager and later became the head of Sales and Marketing. From 2008 -2010 Erlendur was the SVP of Business Development at Icelandair Group, the parent company of Loftleiðir Icelandic, and also served on the board of many of Icelandair Group´s subsidiaries. Erlendur graduated from Reykjavik College in 1992 and studied Economics and Russian at the University of Iceland.
Trevor Cloughley – Advisory Board Member
Trevor is the former Managing Director of ASVEC UK LTD, one of the UK’s most innovative Unmanned Air Vehicle (UAV) manufacturers in the 1980’s and 90’s. This was a time when UAV’s were very much in the experimental phase. Many of today’s UAV designs and operational capabilities bear some resemblance to past ASVEC designs and innovation. His considerable experience in the Police and Security sectors prior to establishing and running an International aviation manufacturing business makes him a key advisor to the team.