An English firm promises cheap flights with a hybrid triplane
The British aeronautical company Faradair is developing a concept of a hybrid triplane for electric travel over short distances.
We decided to come up with an aircraft that would not only be economical to operate, and therefore cost effective, but also quiet and durable.
Neil Cloughey, CEO of Faradair
1. Bioelectric Hybrid Airplane
The plane, called Bio Electric Hybrid Aircraft (BEHA), will have up to 19 seats and will be powered by a fan driven by an electric motor, according to a recent BBC report. A small gas turbine in the plane will generate the necessary electricity and solar panels on the plane’s wings will provide “always-on” ground power in the cabin. Faradair CEO Neil Cloughey said the BEHA will have fewer moving parts, making it cheaper to operate.
2. Cheap long distance flights
Faradair’s Cloughey added that the reduction in operating costs will lead to cheaper tickets for passengers, allowing flights to be priced lower than rail. In addition to offering cheaper tickets to passengers, Faradair is also betting on sustainability. “We set out to come up with an aircraft that would not only be economical to operate, and therefore cost effective, but would also be quiet and durable,” Cloughey told the BBC.
BEHA, Cloughey explained, will eventually allow short-haul flights between cities like London and Manchester at around £25 each way (around $30). That’s less than it costs to travel the roughly 163 miles (262 kilometers) between the two cities by train.
Electric planes are very limited by the weight of the batteries and the power required for take-off. Faradair believe the hybrid system they use in BEHA is an ideal alternative to the very limited capacity of battery-electric aircraft. Most aviation companies, including Airbus, are focused on using sustainable aviation fuels (SAFs) in the near term, although electric and hydrogen-powered aircraft are also seen as serious options to reduce emissions. .
“A hybrid solution is much more likely to be available sooner. This could offer real benefits through reduced emissions. It would also allow the development of electric propulsion motors and power electronics so that they are ready for the transition to full electric operation,” Explain Atkins Principal Engineer James Domore in an article on the challenges and benefits of aircraft electrification.
Faradair will compete with a startup offering flying taxis, eVTOL, but also Volocopter and Lilium, which are expected to start operating around 2024. Unlike eVTOL flying taxis, the BEHA needs access to a small airstrip. The flip side, however, is that it should have a higher passenger capacity than most drone-like eVTOL aircraft. Faradair hopes to have its planes flying by 2025 and plans to operate commercial flights by 2027.