Formula One design and technology expertise is to be shared with world-leading aerospace engineers to help enhance performance on the road and in the air.
A new partnership agreement between BAE Systems, Williams Grand Prix Engineering Ltd and Williams Advanced Engineering Ltd will see the engineering businesses work together across a range of areas including cockpit designs, augmented reality and advanced materials.
Innovators at BAE Systems play a key role in the development, manufacture and support of fast jets such as the Eurofighter Typhoon, F-35 and Future Combat Air Systems and will now work in close collaboration with Oxfordshire-based Williams, an organisation which has achieved decades of success in the ultra-competitive environment of Formula One.
The organisations said the new partnership ‘will devise and deliver projects to create game-changing innovations, ultimately influencing the design, performance and production of both fast jets and fast cars.’
Initial collaborations are likely to include: work on intuitive cockpit designs for fighter pilots and racing drivers, taking advantage of each organisation’s work in virtual and augmented reality; aerodynamics; lightweight materials; and battery technology that could power solar powered unmanned air vehicles and the cars of the future.
The partnership agreement follows on from previous collaborations between the companies, which have included engineers from Williams Advanced Engineering using their expertise to help design and deliver a revolutionary cockpit simulator.
Ian Muldowney, Engineering Director, BAE Systems Air said: “The Government’s Combat Air Strategy, published this summer, highlights the criticality of cutting-edge UK technology and Intellectual Property, including how this is generated, sustained and exploited.
“As we begin to explore what will be required from a UK future combat air system, we must work harder than ever to answer these questions. Working with technology leaders outside of our own industry will help us find new ways of asking questions and think in a different way about the solutions.”
Mike O’Driscoll, Chief Executive Officer of the Williams Group said: “We are pleased to be joining with BAE Systems in this strategic alliance. We look forward to growing this relationship still further and sharing expertise across the talented people at these iconic British companies, in engineering and beyond, to deliver significant benefits to our customers and partners.”
The agreement will be overseen by a steering committee comprised of senior representatives from each organisation, chaired by Ian Muldowney, Engineering Director for BAE Systems Air.