A British startup has attracted some heavyweights in the electric aircraft business to create a hybrid-electric utility aircraft that can fill a variety of roles. Faradair Aerospace founder Neil Cloughley says Honeywell, magniX, Cambridge Consultants and Nova Systems have signed on to help develop his Bio Electric Hybrid Aircraft (BEHA). “Their input will enable us to deliver the BEHA prototype by 2024 and subsequent Part 23 certification for operational trials from 2026,” said Cloughley. “Gaining such support validates our business model and capability of the BEHA.”
Cloughley said the first iteration of the aircraft is built around Honeywell’s turbine hybrid electric system, which will run on biofuel. Eventually the plan is for a pure electric aircraft as that technology progresses. Faradair is going to keep the first 300 production aircraft for itself as what it calls the “largest proof-of-concept air mobility program ever created.” It will configure half the aircraft for aerial firefighting and 75 as quick-change models that can alternate between 18-passenger regional airliners and cargo aircraft. There will be 50 pure cargo models and 25 to be used as demos for government roles from light transport to fisheries patrols.