Faradair, a British startup working on a bio-electric airplane since it launched the project on Kickstarter in 2014, has partnered with four major partners to help it deliver 300 of its new Bio Electric Hybrid Aircraft (BEHA) by 2030.
Honeywell will deliver the turbogenerator, capable of running on sustainable aviation fuels, which will charge the BEHA’s battery. They are also providing the avionics and flight control systems. Two magni500 electric motors from magniX will be used for flight propulsion. MagniX, from Redmond, WA, is an expert in electric motors and is already involved in retrofitting of existing airplanes. Cambridge Consultants will help on the integration of the turbine and motors with their expertise in hybrid propulsion architecture. Finally, Nova Systems, a global leader in aircraft design, test, evaluation and certification will assist in early prototype development and certification.
The BEHA will start as a hybrid electric configuration, but the design keeps an evolution to a battery powered fully electric model in mind to guarantee zero emissions. The commercial aircraft will seat 18 passengers, and can be configured as regional commuter, cargo aircraft, or in a quick change configuration for different roles. The payload bay accommodates three LD3 containers for a total carrying capacity up to 5 tons. The aircraft has a wing span of 57ft and length of 48ft.
Faradair aims to deliver and operate a fleet of 300 BEHAs betzeen 2026-2030 in what will be the largest proof of concept air mobility program ever. Half of these will be configured for firefighting, 75 as quick change passenger/cargo aircraft deployed at general aviation fields around the world, and 50 as pure freighter aircraft. 25 are reserved for non-civilian government roles, including logistics, border and fisheries patrol, and drug interdiction.
The year 2020 has been an extremely tough year for aerospace and I am delighted to be able to share this positive news today, not only for the UK aerospace sector, but the sustainable aerospace sector globally. We are honoured to announce our collaboration with these leading organisations. Their input will enable us to deliver the BEHA prototype by 2024 and subsequent Part 23 certification for operational trials from 2026. Gaining such support validates our business model and capability of the BEHA.
– Neil Cloughley, founder and managing director of Faradair