8 October 2015
PRODRIVE TO SUPPORT FARADAIR'S HYBRID AIRCRAFT DEVELOPMENT
Faradair Aerospace, the new UK hybrid aircraft manufacturer, has formed a partnership with Prodrive. Prodrive will be adding Faradair’s innovative BEHA (Bio-Electric-Hybrid-Aircraft) development programme to its diverse technology portfolio.
Faradair’s carbon composite six seat aircraft incorporates the latest in hybrid aerospace technologies and will provide a new class of eco-friendly aircraft able to meet the future aviation requirements of lower operating costs, safer operational capability and lower noise and emissions.
Prodrive has extensive experience in electric and hybrid technologies and has recently developed a highly efficient silicon-carbide DC-DC converter for road vehicles, which could readily be used in this aircraft. Prodrive also manufactures lightweight carbon composite structures for the automotive and aerospace industries, already supplying the bodywork and interior for the McLaren P1 and the main chassis for the European Space Agency’s Mars Rover.
“This partnership is another fantastic leap forwards for Faradair and the BEHA development program and we delighted to be working with this leading global brand,” says Neil Cloughley, managing director, Faradair Aerospace. “The opportunity to work together on our exciting aviation project is a huge honour and the experience Prodrive brings will be invaluable to us during the development of our new hybrid aircraft – BEHA.”
David Richards, chairman of Prodrive, said: “I believe there is a huge opportunity for cleaner and quieter aircraft that can have almost unlimited access to urban areas. In the same way as legislation is driving the growth of electric and hybrid cars, so I am equally sure that legislation will demand the same technologies are employed in the aviation sector. We already have proven technologies in this field which can readily be transferred to light aircraft.”
Prodrive joins Cranfield University and Avidyne Corporation as key partners to Faradair. Since its launch in November 2014, Faradair’s BEHA program has attracted global interest; its innovative design was reported across a variety of media in over 30 countries and now Faradair is being invited to speak at multiple international conferences and is receiving a growing interest within the investment community.
BEHA’s initial CFD design analysis at Cranfield University has been completed thanks to an InnovateUK Government grant and exciting design developments will be announced soon.
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