UK Startup Launches Hybrid Commuter Airliner

Faradair’s STOL commuter airliner could make its first flight within three years. Courtesy Faradair

Faradair, a startup aircraft maker based in the UK, launched an 18-seat hybrid-propulsion aircraft it hopes to fly by 2022 and introduce to the market by 2025.

Revealed at the Revolution.Aero Europe 2019 show in London, the so-called Bio Electric Hybrid Aircraft is being developed for passenger operations as well as cargo roles.

The concept features a turboprop engine generating electricity to drive a ducted, contra-rotating pusher prop fan with vectored thrust, along with a high-lift, triple-box wing.

Short take-off capability promises operations from "micro airfields" with runways of less than 1,000 feet that could open up new opportunities for regional point-to-point transportation, the company predicts.

The aircraft will be able to change configuration in 15 minutes from cargo to passenger duty and vice versa, and the company says it’s in discussions with potential “civilian and non-civilian” customers for the project. The unpressurized aircraft would cruise at about 200 knots at a max altitude of 14,000 feet.

Final design work is being conducted at Swansea University in Wales.


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