(3 Feb 2021)
GKN Aerospace is helping develop the next generation
of sustainable technology through three collaborative programmes as part of the Future Flight Challenge.
GKN will take a leading role in the programmes,
delivering them from its new £32 million Global Technology Centre in
The Future Flight Challenge is a four-year, £125 million
ISCF programme from UK Research and Innovation to develop more
sustainable aviation solutions.
The current phase is focused on
the development of integrated aviation systems that enable new
classes of electric or autonomous air vehicles.
With 15 collaborators and an initial investment of
£4.5 million, the programmes focus on electrification, unmanned
commercial flight and more sustainable regional aerospace
solutions to drive connectivity.
Skybus – Skybus explores a novel transport
network, based on large electric Vertical Take-Off & Landing
(eVTOL) vehicles capable of carrying between 30-50 passengers
each, taking the “Park and Ride” concept into the air for mass
transit over extremely congested routes thus eliminating the
2-Dimensional constraints of current surface transport modes
including cars, trains and buses.
This will not only offer direct
benefits in reduced travel time at affordable fares but also
reduce the congestion on current ground transport vehicles thus
reducing overall travel time for all passengers travelling on
these routes regardless of their chosen mode of transport.
is led by GKN Aerospace with Swanson
Aviation Consultancy, Pascall+Watson and Connected Places
Catapult as partners.
Safe Flight – As unmanned and autonomous systems
evolve at pace, uncertainty remains around how to integrate
autonomous systems in shared airspace in a safe manner.
proposal addresses technological challenges, in terms of the
integration of a range of cutting-edge technologies in real-world
use case demonstrations, but importantly it also looks at the
underpinning business need of a clear route to certifiable
aircraft systems and approved operations.
Safe Flight is led by
GKN Aerospace with the University of Bath, 3UG
Autonomous Systems and Callen-Lenz as partners.
NAPKIN – NAPKIN will model and pilot an UK-wide
domestic sustainable aviation network promoting zero carbon
emissions, connectivity where surface infrastructure is lacking as
well as UK business growth and competitiveness.
NAPKIN is led by
Heathrow Airport, in collaboration with GKN Aerospace, Rolls
Royce, Highlands & Islands Airports, Deloitte, Cranfield Aerospace
Solutions, London City Airport, University of Southampton,
University College London and Cranfield University.
Max Brown, VP Technology GKN Aerospace, said, “We
are committed to a more sustainable future for aviation and our
technologies will keep us at the forefront of this challenge. No
one company can achieve this alone and these Future Flight
Challenge programmes highlight the importance of collaboration in
achieving this aim. It is a great example of public-private
collaboration as well as the importance of Government in
supporting the aerospace industry, through it’s industrial
strategy. We look forward to working together to deliver the next
generation of sustainable air travel.”
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