Future flight challenge gives 48 UK projects a share of £33.5 million to kickstart the next revolution in aviation.
Over 40 new innovative projects across the UK will receive a share of £33.5 million in funding from the future flight challenge, part of the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund, delivered by UK Research and Innovation.
Today the UK Research and Innovation announced the first 20 projects to receive over £7 million in funding.
Dock to Dock (D2D) D2D will demonstrate an alternative to road transportation between coastal cities, developing a pilot project to deliver goods by air using clean energy: initially between Avonmouth Docks in Bristol and Cardiff Docks in Wales.
The project will focus on vehicle performance and the infrastructure necessary for hydrogen-powered electric aircraft which take-off and land vertically, and therefore don’t require runways.
These ground-breaking projects involve the UK’s leading:
The projects are being funded to put the UK in the driving seat for developing the next aviation revolution.
The projects cover the use of drones capable of delivering COVID-19 medical supplies to remote areas, to technology to enable remote inspections of infrastructure and construction sites.
The projects will also tackle key infrastructure and air traffic management challenges to ensure the UK maintains its exceptional air safety record and delivers practical and integrated solutions.
Leading the way in the aviation revolution Business and Industry Minister, Nadhim Zahawi, said: As the UK leads the way in the aviation revolution, these bold proposals showcase the pioneering spirit of the UK’s aerospace and aviation industries in solving global issues from climate change, to getting vital medications to those in need.
This funding for the sector is a testament to the vital role aviation continues to play in maintaining our well-earned reputation for research and development excellence. I look forward to seeing these concepts being developed into tangible products over the coming months and years.
Gary Cutts, Future Flight Challenge Director said: At this challenging time for the international aviation industry, it is a great testament to the UK’s drive and ambition that we had such a strong response to the first funded Future Flight competition.
The breadth, quality and creativity of the bids has been exceptional and the economic and social benefits offered are significant.
The projects include:
- Dock-to-Dock, based in Cardiff, which is developing a pilot project to deliver goods between Bristol and Cardiff using a hydrogen-powered electric aircraft.
- NAPKIN, based in Greater London, which focuses on paving the way for low and zero carbon short-haul flights for passengers around the UK.
- APIAN Limited, based in Essex, is creating and building a drone to deliver medical supplies like COVID-19 blood and swab tests between NHS hospitals and labs in response to the pandemic, protecting key NHS staff and the wider public from coronavirus transmission.
- The Light Aircraft Company Ltd, based in Norfolk, will integrate electric propulsion into existing aircraft to enable electric flight of small aircraft.
- Windracers Distributed Avionics, based in Southampton and Bristol, will develop swarming technology, an approach to coordinate multiple robots, to allow multiple drones to fly in close formations and work together to provide humanitarian aid or fight fires.
- Droneprep Ltd, Consortiq Limited and Windracers Limited, based in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, will use unmanned aerial vehicles to deliver critical PPE and Covid-19 testing kits to vulnerable, rural communities in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly.
Source: UK Research and Innovation