Aircraft manufacturer to open R&D centre at Swansea Uni

Faradair, an award-winning hybrid aircraft manufacturer, has announced it’s to open a research and development centre at Swansea University.

The centre, which is to be based at the university’s College of Engineering, will offer Welsh university students a unique opportunity to develop careers in aviation.

It’ll be supervised by Dr Ben Evans, an associate professor in aerospace engineering, and give post doctorate students a route into the lucrative aviation industry.

They’ll have the opportunity to apply for exciting aerospace R&D roles in Wales. Existing students will also take part in a new aircraft development programme.

This new operation is set to open in September 2017 and will become a key part of the the multi-role, 6-8 seat BEHA (Bio Electric Hybrid Aircraft) development programme.

Combining the latest technologies with innovation, the aircraft’s unique design and hybrid propulsion system will offer reduced operational costs and reduction in noise and emissions pollution.

The aircraft will also cater for a number of alternative roles, including unmanned operations, light cargo, patrol, tourism and regional air taxi duties. Dr Evans was appointed chief aerodynamicist for Faradair earlier this year.

Neil Cloughley, managing director of Faradair Aerospace, praised the university in a statement: “We are thrilled to announce this partnership with Swansea University.

“We have been so impressed with the Swansea Bay campus, its new facilities and most importantly the enthusiasm that Dr Evans and all the team members in the aerospace engineering department have for our new aircraft project.”

He added: “We have been extremely fortunate to secure a truly fantastic group of partners including Prodrive, Avidyne Corporation, Veale Wasbrough Vizards and now Swansea University.”

Dr Evans said: “It is a real privilege to be involved in the Faradair BEHA design. The technology and lessons learnt from designing bloodhound are now being applied to this ground-breaking new bio-electric aircraft.

“The Faradair BEHA has the potential to revolutionise the aerospace sector with capabilities never seen before from an aircraft of this size. I look forward to continued collaboration with Faradair.”