Faradair is relocating its HQ and sustainable aircraft prototype development to Duxford airfield in Cambridgeshire.
The move has been made in collaboration with the Imperial War Museum (IWM) Duxford and Gonville & Caius College.
Faradair will develop its BEHA (Bio Electric Hybrid Aircraft) Short Take-Off and Landing (STOL) aircraft at the iconic airfield. The aircraft has a unique wing configuration and ultra-quiet, sustainable propulsion system, with state-of-art- avionics, which will offer affordable, quiet and green, regional air transport.
As an early pioneer of the new air mobility sector, Faradair intends to revive whole aircraft manufacturing in the UK. BEHA has been designed and developed in the UK and will creating jobs and revenue not just for the local community but across the globe. The aircraft’s quiet flight capability and advanced safety features, could provide air commuters with a financially attractive and time saving alternative to expensive and congested land based alternatives.
Full-sized prototype will be a “flying van”
With this announcement, Faradair will begin the exciting development of its full-sized prototype aircraft, a versatile ‘flying van’ which can carry an unmatched payload capability of passengers, freight, equipment and a range of other utility roles in regions throughout the world.
The UK aerospace startup has championed hybrid and electric flight opportunity since 2014, evolving the BEHA design from initial concept to commuter category aircraft with the support of angel investors and industrial and academic partners. The multi-award winning company has attracted a strong advisory team and with the support of the IWM and neighbouring landowner Gonville & Caius College, it is now perfectly placed to scale-up and expand the core engineering team.
First BEHA set to reach the skies in 2023/24
With first BEHA flight targeted for 2023/24 Faradair is the first aviation company to join Gonville & Caius College and IWM’s new Duxford AvTech development which will create an aviation research and development facility at the airfield location, in alignment with many of the recently announced objectives set by the UK Government.
The government has committed to a ‘Green recovery’ from the COVID-19 pandemic, with specific mention and interest in sustainable air transport. Faradair secured the support of current Secretary of State for Transport the Rt Hon Grant Shapps MP back in 2018 who welcomed the innovation as “world class” and “an exciting opportunity for the UK in both civilian and non-civilian configuration.”
Managing Director Neil Cloughley said Faradair was perfectly placed to be part of the green recovery. He said:“It’s fantastic. Because there’s a recognition now that we have to do things cleaner, greener. And the government’s been very, very good recently with some of the announcements of the plans for the future. We are here to help support that and make sure that it stays right at the forefront of aerospace technology globally. But more importantly, it’s here in the UK, we came very close to having to realise offshore.”
Duxford move is a “dream come true”
Cloughey said of the new headquarters: “Moving to Duxford Airfield is a dream come true for us at Faradair. We are so excited by the opportunity ahead of us, made possible by the fantastic and enthusiastic staff at the Imperial War Museum Duxford and Gonville & Caius College. Covid-19 has highlighted the global opportunity for cleaner, quieter skies and more sustainable forms of transport, a vision our company has championed for many years now.”
He added: “It is such a privilege to be able to now call Duxford ‘home’, a site I have visited countless times as a child and even flown a vintage Tiger Moth from the venue more recently. IWM Duxford will now not only be a site of historical significance but also a site on which to showcase the ‘future’ of aerospace. We will create jobs and inspire the thousands of school kids that visit every year, to take up STEM subjects with clear future employment opportunity with the company.”