Faradair Aerospace this week strengthened the leadership team behind its plans to bring a hybrid-electric regional/utility aircraft to market. Former Boeing Commercial Airplanes marketing vice president Randy Tinseth is to lead the UK-based company’s advisory board, which will also include Tony Anderson, a former executive with low-cost carrier EasyJet.
From its headquarters at Duxford airfield in eastern England, Faradair is working on a full-scale prototype of the Bio Electric Hybrid Aircraft (BEHA) that it aims to start flight testing in 2024, with a view to entering service in 2026, following type certification under Part 23 rules. Later plans call for an all-electric version of the short takeoff and landing aircraft once battery technology improves. The initial M1H model will be able to carry 18 passengers or 5 tonnes of freight on flights of up to around 1,150 miles. It would have a service ceiling of around 14,000 feet and fly at up to 230 mph.
The hybrid-electric version of the BEHA will be powered by a 1MW turbogenerator provided by Honeywell and an electric propulsion unit from MagniX. The latter will consist of a pair of Magni500 electric motors and a MagniDrive control system. The turbogenerator will be able to run on sustainable aviation fuel.
Faradair’s business plan anticipates the production of an initial portfolio of 300 BEHA aircraft that it would own and operate itself. Around 75 of these would be for passenger and cargo operations and would be designed to allow for quick changes to the cabin configuration. A further 50 aircraft would be used for freight-only services and 150 for firefighting.
Both Tinseth and Anderson have extensive experience in marketing for airliners and air carriers. Faradair founder and CEO Neil Cloughley said the pair will help to shape the company’s business model. Perhaps indicating an openness to a change of tack, he commented on Tinseth’s past record of seeing “the commercial aircraft sector from many angles,” and having Anderson’s experience in low-cost travel to “guide us as we look to disrupt the regional air travel market.”
Faradair says it expects to announce further additions to its executive and engineering teams in due course.