November 28, 2014 weblog
Faradair team determined to make hybrid BEHA fly
Aiming to transform their concept into a real success, the Faradair team behind a six-seat Bio-Electric-Hybrid-Aircraft (BEHA) have taken this hybrid aircraft project into a crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter. They want to make a BEHA prototype.The aircraft will take off and land under electric power. The ability to take off and land on purely electric power gives BEHA the potential for near-silent flight operation and the possibility for night flight capability into and around urban environments. The bio-diesel motor will be used as on-board generator for the electric motors and additional cruise power.
They said, "our intention from the beginning was to build a hybrid, where the generator engine powers the electric motors and recharges the batteries." The aircraft will use twin electric fan motors delivering 200hp (horsepower) each, in combination with a 200hp bio-diesel generator that incorporates a pusher propeller protected within a duct to reduce noise; it will use solar skin panels. Neil Cloughley, managing director of Faradair, said in his video pitch that this is a true hybrid aircraft which has been 20 years in the making, a dream he had for a long time, but technologies as of now have made the opportunity a reality.
"We have designed an aircraft that is truly revolutionary," he said. "Imagine," for example, it flying above a wildlife reserve and it not disturbing the animals." He said his team is trying to create something that can have a genuine impact toward helping the environment. Such an accomplishment, according to the Kickstarter campaign page, would demonstrate that "a six-seat aircraft can be extremely quiet, low cost to operate, friendly to the environment and utilizing the very latest technology available in energy recovery and materials."
Safety features include ballistic parachute recovery fail-safe systems and a fuselage crash protection structure found in race cars. They said the structure was based on Formula 1 style crash protection. What applications does the Faradair team have in mind? They said BEHA could enable operators for inter-city travel into very small urban airfields with minimal pollution, for flight schools, for wildlife observation and emergency services, as well as for recreation and business use.
"The next year has got an awful lot of R&D involved," Cloughley said. The goal is to complete fabrication of parts that will be ready to install in the prototype aircraft. The campaign is asking for a wide range of help from £5 (fan name listing on website) to higher pledge amounts for varying levels of patron status and other benefits. And even if you cannot share your capital with them right now, said Cloughley, please share their video. "Stage 1 is a development year with some of the finest Aero engineers in the UK, helping to fine tune our design, with a focus on prototype and assembly facility build by 2016," according to the campaign page. Faradair has partnered with Cranfield University, where students and professors will be involved in making BEHA as efficient as possible. They are to help to fine-tune the design, configure avionics packages and create 'dual-control' flight mode options of manned and remote controlled flight.
"This aircraft will be one of the most eco-friendly and safest aircraft in the world, costing somewhere close to $1m US Dollars per aircraft," said Cloughley, according to Gizmag.
It is no coincidence that the company's name evokes that of a 19th century English scientist who contributed to the fields of electromagnetism and electrochemistry. Faradair was named after Michael Faraday.
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