Cotswold Airport-based Zeroavia and the University of Warwick are two of just fifteen successful projects awarded funding to help support UK airports in handling new types of electric and hydrogen aircraft.
The 15 winning projects are all recipients of the Department for Transport’s latest Transport Research and Innovation Grant programme – TRIG: Zero Emission Flight, which is being delivered by Connected Places Catapult. This programme is part of the wider Zero Emissions Flight Infrastructure project, which will identify the opportunities and challenges associated with adopting zero emission aircraft within airport environments.
Winning projects include wireless charging for electric planes, swappable battery packs to keep flight turnover times to a minimum and state-of-the-art fuelling tanks to safely and efficiently refuel flights of the future.
The 15 successful projects have been awarded a share of over £700,000, part of the total £3 million of government funding to help bring forward innovative research and technology, which can support UK airports in handling new types of electric and hydrogen aircraft.
Dr Val Miftakhov, CEO of ZeroAvia, said: “We are delighted to have been successful with the zero emission flight infrastructure project and to have the opportunity to show just how these projects are critical to the future of zero emission aviation.
“In the future, we believe there will be a hydrogen-electric engine in every aircraft as this is the only viable way to deliver truly zero emission aircraft and to comprehensively tackle the industry’s growing climate impact. When we deliver our first hydrogen-electric powertrains into service in 2024, operators need to be able to fuel their aircraft with low carbon hydrogen, and today’s announcement is a big step towards that.”
The University of Warwick was successful with two of its projects:
- Creation of Full Airport Energy Model to Simulate/Understand Infrastructure Impacts of Electric and Hydrogen Aircraft and Support Vehicles on Airports – A Warwick Manufacturing Group (WMG) Case Study with Leeds Bradford Airport (LBA)
- Evaluation of safety zones and mitigation measures for hydrogen refuelling infrastructure at airports
Aviation Minister Robert Courts said: “As an island nation, aviation is essential for our future growth and plans to build back better and greener from the pandemic.
“With COP26 around the corner, we’re ramping up our efforts even further by funding the technology that unlocks the flights of the future.”