Neil Cloughley is the founder and managing director of Faradair, the UK's leading hybrid aviation programme. Neil has a broad background in the aviation industry ranging from aircraft re-marketing and aircraft leasing to starting his own aircraft consultancy business, which found him working with the world's major airlines, OEMs and trailblazing companies like Virgin Galactic. Neil's father developed one of the most advanced unmanned aerial vehicles of the early 1990s and had a flying prototype before the General Atomics MQ-1 Predator entered service in 1995.Unfortunately, as a result of being slightly ahead of its time, and due to a lack of funds and unfortunate timing, ASVEC UK had to close its doors.
Neil is now stepping into his father's footsteps and building the bio-electric hybrid aircraft (BEHA) drawing from many of the lessons he learned from his father. The BEHA is a six-passenger aircraft with a hybrid gas and electric propulsion system and is to be used for regional travel of around 200 miles. The BEHA has an unconventional design with a triple-staggered wing, an all-composite airframe, and a ducted propeller. These design decisions reflect the three key specifications that need to be met to make regional inter-city flight a reality: minimizing noise, emissions, and operational costs. In this conversation, Neil and Rainer talk about