The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) has launched its FlyZero initiative to kickstart exploration into zero-carbon emission commercial aircraft.
FlyZero is in addition to the Government matching £200 million in private investment with grant funding as part of the Aerospace Technology Institute (ATI) programme to help boost green aerospace projects.
The grant money takes the total ATI funding to £400m and includes new projects set to receive funding will include developing high performance engines, new wing designs, ultra-lightweight materials, energy-efficient electric components, and other new concepts to enhance innovation within the sector.
Gary Elliott, ATI chief executive, said: "FlyZero represents an acceleration of the UK’s ambition to lead the world in green aviation.
"These are challenging but also exciting times for the aerospace sector; we need to help UK companies to recover while also creating new approaches to technology development and innovation.
"FlyZero will engage a team of highly-skilled engineers and technologists from across the UK to look into how to design and build a zero emission commercial aircraft, with the solid aim of securing future manufacturing in the UK."
The successful projects that will receive a share of the government’s £200 million grant funding through the ATI programme, and match it with their own investment, include:
- Airbus projects: Wing of Tomorrow will develop new technologies and manufacturing processes to produce the next generation composite wings and help Airbus’s leading position in the single aisle market. A critical part of the programme is to develop capability to manufacture more efficient, light weight carbon-fibre wings, at a rate much higher than previously possible
- Rolls-Royce projects: UltraFan will be the most efficient engine produced by Rolls-Royce and will use less fuel and produce lower CO2 emissions. Projects funded as part of the £200 million will drive efficiency and contribute towards shared government and industry ambitions on decarbonisation
- Williams Advanced Engineering: the AIRTEK project is focused on developing lightweight seat structures for the civilian aerospace sector. Williams Advanced Engineering, in a collaboration with JPA Design and SWS Certification, is developing new lightweight aircraft seats in order to reduce the weight of aircraft, which in turn will lead to airlines saving fuel and CO2
- Safran Electrical & Power UK: AEPEC: The Aerospace Electric Propulsion Equipment, Controls & Machines (AEPEC) project involves lead partner Safran Electrical & Power UK and its supply chain partners. They will develop electrical power systems to improve energy use on future aircraft, covering power generation, control systems, and other functions on more-electric aircraft