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Biofueled Triplane Project Shows Promise

According to some, aviation is stagnating somewhat of late, with major advances only really appearing in the military and commercial airliners. The myriad of technologies available to aviation users is seemingly overlooked in favor of bigger, or in some cases, more deadly.

Never fear, a kickstarter from startup company Faradair seeks to change the way we see aircraft, and also makes sure that flying is no longer as much of a blow to mother nature as usual… the best thing about Faradair, however, is that their new project is a triplane.

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Now I know when we say ‘triplane’ it instantly brings up the notion of early modern aircraft, World War I, and the Notorious Red Baron – a time when bombing consisted of leaning out of an open cockpit and haphazardly dropping explosives on the target below, and machine guns had to be fine tuned to not hit the propeller under any circumstances.

But there’s no canvas on Faradair’s revolutionary BEHA – the triplane is sleek, modern and decidedly futuristic.

The three wings are stepped in a visually pleasing manner, the top down view makes it seem like there’s a single, quite chubby wing, but from the side it’s clear to see the sthreewings on each side are stepped backwards and attached to some quite large fins at either side of the BEHA.

Floats like a butterfly: From the top, the BEHA’s three stepped wings seem to merge into a quite large arrangement.  Solar panels recover energy from uninterrupted sunlight above the clouds.

The plane is powered by a double propeller arrangement located at the back of the aircraft… it’s the cylindrical pair of motors just in from of the huge fan-like apparatus on the back. The fan itself is a wind turbine, capable of amazingly recycling the forward thrust of the aircraft and turning it back into usable electricity.

The BEHA’s environmental perks don’t end at a big turbine – most of the top of the aircraft is skinned with solar panels, taking advantage of the sunlight above the clouds, and the aircraft is specced to run as a hybrid using biodiesel to generate electricity.

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On top of being kind to the Earth, a major perk of the BEHA is that Faradair is also apparently looking into getting the plane to work as a UAV – a drone. This could eventually lead to interest from big military contractors, and as controversial as it is, military funding often pushes tech from humble beginnings to widespread use.

For when people fly with her, the BEHA is a 6 seater – no commercial airliner. But it doesn’t need to be to be a very special project. If the concept proves to be worthwhile, and it works, the idea of triplanes, turbines and solar panels could one day propagate to later aircraft. This may take decades, however.

Stings like a bee: The power that gets BEHA off the ground comes from those two green cylindrical motors – the large box to the rear houses a big fan which re-purposes forward thrust into usable power.

Faradair’s startup is impressive, innovative and keenly up to date with what the aviation industry has needed to embrace for a long time. The wacky triplane design is aesthetically pleasing, and speaks to the aviation history buff’s understanding of where planes today came from.

Almost exactly 100 years ago, the first passenger triplanes were making their merry way between destinations, their pilots oblivious to how that one day the jet engine would take people around the world in less than a week.

Faradair’s BEHA may one day be looked upon as a turning point in aircraft – an environmentally friendly, energy efficient design from a pioneering new team that changes the way we see air travel. Good luck to them, check it out at the link below.

Source: Faradair’s Kickstarter

Via: Techcrunch