By Chris Stonor
UK Faradair Aerospace, a British start-up, headed by Neil Cloughley and based at the Duxford Airfield in Cambridgeshire, announced today a partnership consortium to build 300 large hybrid-powered aircraft with a project name BEHA by 2030, reports a Linkedin press release. These new partners are Honeywell, magniX, Cambridge Consultants and Nova Systems, all industry leaders in the emerging sustainable aviation sector.
Faradair will work with Honeywell on the BEHA turbo-generator, comprised of Honeywell’s gas turbine and generator technologies. The release says, “This has the ability to run on sustainable aviation fuel, to support the hybrid-electric aircraft design in addition to other technologies, including avionics and flight control systems.”
magniX is a leading provider of electric motors and BEHA will use two magni500 e-motors and associated magniDrive control system technology for flight propulsion. While Cambridge Consultants, brings its expertise in hybrid propulsion.
Nova Systems, will help Faradair through the early prototype development stages, “reassuring certification authorities that the aircraft is being developed and built to the standards of existing and future regulations for sustainable aviation technologies.”
Faradair Founder and company MD, Neil Cloughley, commented, “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.” Adding, “Gaining such support validates our business model and capability of the BEHA.”
While the initial propulsion development will be of a hybrid electric/turbine configuration, in line with UK Government ambitions for sustainable air transport, the aim is to become fully electric when power generation delivers the required technology for an 18-seat utility aircraft.
magniXCEO Roei Ganzarski, said, “BEHA is an exciting development program in the electric aviation revolution and one we are delighted to be a part of. It embodies the next step in sustainable regional air transport.” The plan is to deliver an initial portfolio of 300 Faradair-owned BEHAs between 2026-2030, in the largest proof of concept air mobility program ever created.
The release goes on to say, “Of these, 150 aircraft will be built in firefighting configuration, 75 as quick change (QC, passenger to cargo) aircraft, deployed at general aviation airfields globally, and 50 as pure freighters. The final 25 aircraft will be demonstrated in non-civilian government roles, including logistics, border and fisheries patrol, and drug interdiction.”
Stéphane Fymat, Vice President and general manager for UAS/UAM at Honeywell, said, “We are proud to be part of this development program that works toward new methods of transportation that are quieter, cleaner and more efficient.” And Tim Butler, Fixed Wing Program Manager and test pilot at Nova Systems, added, “Working on game-changing programs and developing green aviation technology, is exactly what excites us at Nova and we can’t wait to get the BEHA flying.”
Talks are in progress with investors and aircraft finance organisations to enable the full program of development to happen. Cloughley concluded, “The age of the Electric Jet has begun and we will have more exciting news to share in the New Year.”
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