The government has announced a £200 million investment, matched by industry, for research and technology to help the aerospace sector recover from COVID-19 and look to the future
The investment, delivered through the Aerospace Technology Institute (ATI), will be used to develop high performance engines, new wing designs, ultra-lightweight materials, energy efficient electric components and other new concepts to enhance innovation in the sector.
Funding recipients include leading companies such as Airbus, Rolls-Royce and Williams Advanced Engineering. Airbus is designing next-generation lightweight carbon fibre wings and innovative concepts such as folding wing tips; Rolls-Royce is developing ‘UltraFan’ engine technology that will improve the efficiency and environmental performance of aircraft; and Williams Advanced Engineering is developing ultra-lightweight seat structures that will reduce aircraft fuel consumption.
It is hoped the investment will help to secure highly skilled jobs in the industry, which has struggled from the collapse in aviation demand during the Coronavirus crisis.
Announcing the funding in July, Business Secretary Alok Sharma said:
“We have an incredible aerospace industry right here in the UK that defines the way aircraft are manufactured globally. This £400 million ATI investment will help secure our world-leading position in developing new flight technology to make air travel safer and greener into the future.”
The Business Secretary also announced a new FlyZero initiative, which will engage a team of skilled engineers and technologists from across the UK to kickstart the design and exploration of zero carbon emission aircraft.
The news follows the recent launch of a ‘Jet Zero Council’, a government-and-industry backed group aiming to make net zero emissions possible for future flights.