Aircraft

Hybrid triplane could be carrying passengers within six years

Hybrid triplane could be carry...
Plans call for the BEHA_M1H to have a cruising speed of over 200 knots (230 mph, or 370 km/h), and a range of over 1,000 nautical miles (1,852 km) depending on configuration
Plans call for the BEHA_M1H to have a cruising speed of over 200 knots (230 mph, or 370 km/h), and a range of over 1,000 nautical miles (1,852 km) depending on configuration
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Plans call for the BEHA_M1H to have a cruising speed of over 200 knots (230 mph, or 370 km/h), and a range of over 1,000 nautical miles (1,852 km) depending on configuration
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Plans call for the BEHA_M1H to have a cruising speed of over 200 knots (230 mph, or 370 km/h), and a range of over 1,000 nautical miles (1,852 km) depending on configuration
The BEHA_M1H will have a 49-ft (15-m) wingspan
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The BEHA_M1H will have a 49-ft (15-m) wingspan
The BEHA_M1H's body will be made from a carbon fiber composite material
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The BEHA_M1H's body will be made from a carbon fiber composite material
Within a claimed 15 minutes, ground crews will reportedly be able to replace the BEHA_M1H's seats with three of the company's LD3 cargo containers, for a combined capacity of 5 tonnes (5.5 US tons)
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Within a claimed 15 minutes, ground crews will reportedly be able to replace the BEHA_M1H's seats with three of the company's LD3 cargo containers, for a combined capacity of 5 tonnes (5.5 US tons)
A cut-away view of the BEHA_M1H's seating
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A cut-away view of the BEHA_M1H's seating
Solar panels on the wings help boost the BEHA_M1H's batteries
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Solar panels on the wings help boost the BEHA_M1H's batteries

Back in 2014, we first heard about UK firm Faradair's proposed Bio-Electric-Hybrid-Aircraft (BEHA, for short) – it was touted it as being one of the world's most environmentally-friendly airplanes. The company has now announced plans for a small BEHA airliner, which is hoped to enter service by 2025.

Like the original concept, the carbon-composite-bodied 18-seat BEHA_M1H will feature a "triple box-wing" design for enhanced lift. This configuration should allow it to take off and land on runways less than 300 meters (984 ft) in length.

Vectored thrust will be provided by two contra-rotating propfans in the rear – these will be housed within an acoustic duct, with the aim of reducing take-off noise to under 60 dba (dba stands for A-weighted decibels, which approximate the manner in which sound is heard by the human ear). By contrast, a typical jet engine at take-off sits at about 140 dba.

The BEHA_M1H's body will be made from a carbon fiber composite material
The BEHA_M1H's body will be made from a carbon fiber composite material

As the aircraft's name implies, power will be provided by a combination of batteries and bio-diesel. More specifically, the batteries will power its electric motor during take-off and landing, with a 1,600-hp turboprop bio-diesel engine generating power while the craft is cruising – the engine will also recharge the batteries at that time, with some help from solar panels on top of the wings.

Additionally, the BEHA_M1H will be capable of hauling cargo. Within a claimed 15 minutes, ground crews will reportedly be able to replace the seats with three of the company's LD3 cargo containers, for a combined capacity of 5 tonnes (5.5 US tons).

"The BEHA M1H variant, multi-role aircraft, will allow operators the ability to provide viable air transport services including; scheduled commuting flights, flight training and charter by day and the ability to use the quiet flight characteristics and payload capability for cargo operations at night," says Managing Director of Faradair, Neil Cloughley. "Our order book is now open and we look forward to working with potential customers and airport operators, as we begin the build of our first demonstration prototypes later this year, intended for flight trials by 2022."

Source: Faradair

10 comments
paul314
If they can do unpaved runways that would be great for rural service. If they can get around the ATC issues they could do direct delivery to box store parking lots...
windykites
Why the need for electric motors and batteries?
Nobody
Unnecessarily complex.
Paul Muad'Dib
The return of the triplane? I thought we stopped making those because they were horribly inefficient.
fb36
Seem quite innovative to me! (Boeing, on the other hand, trying to make an airliner w/ super long wings, instead of biplane or triplane, to get more lift!) This tail design could be also a good solution against icing!? (Instead of tail wings heated by added special heating systems.)
JimFox
Looks interesting. "Why the need for motors & batteries?" Obvious- for enhanced power & reduced noise for take-off plus emissions reduction. Electric flight, just as happened with cars, will start with hybrid designs & progress as battery & motor technology improves.
JimFox
"Unnecessarily complex" I think not. Look at the complexity of existing turbofan engines & think again...
Towerman
@windykites because it's the obvious winning choice..
Towerman
A tri wing bringing back what worked well in WW1 interesting choice, and i sort of like the design
AngryPenguin
@windykites For that sweet sweet environmental funding, while they test out the airframe. Also to cut down on noise during takeoff/landing, as said in the article.