UK Government invests $136 million in Vertical Aerospace and Rolls-Royce to develop hydrogen and all-electric flight technologies.

Image credit Vertical Aerospace

UKgov : Through the Aerospace Technology Institute (ATI) Programme, government and industry are jointly backing new exciting zero-carbon technologies to open up a future of guilt-free flying. This includes a project by Bristol-based electric aircraft manufacturer Vertical Aerospace to develop high-end, lightweight batteries, as well as projects led by Rolls-Royce to develop the building blocks of a liquid hydrogen combusting jet engine, which would enable flight without the carbon emissions.

From Belfast to Derby, these successful projects will help secure thousands of jobs across the supply chain and hundreds of millions in private investment across the UK, growing the country’s economy and putting us at the forefront of reducing global aviation emissions.

The ATI Programme continues to deliver practical successes, the most recent being the maiden flight of ZeroAvia’s hydrogen fuel cell-powered 19-seater aircraft in January.

In addition, the Department for Transport is launching a Call for Evidence seeking views from the sector on how to reach the target for airport operations in England to be zero emissions by 2040. The target was set as part of the government’s Jet Zero Strategy, launched in July last year.

Business Secretary Grant Shapps said:

“Guilt-free flying is within our reach, and we are backing the world-leading UK firms whose skills and ingenuity are going to make that dream a reality.

As the whole world moves to greener forms of aviation, there is a massive opportunity for the UK’s aerospace industry to secure clean, green jobs and growth for decades to come. Together with the companies that share our ambitions, we are determined to seize this moment.”

Transport Secretary Mark Harper said:

The Jet Zero Council is helping to define the future of flying – one that’s more optimistic about the sector’s environmental impact while putting UK innovation at the forefront of international aviation.

As well as developing the next generation of aircraft, it’s also crucial we make the sector greener on the ground, and the call for evidence we’re launching today will help us gather evidence on how airports can reach zero emissions by 2040.

Grazia Vittadini, Chief Technology Officer, Rolls-Royce plc, said:

Rolls-Royce welcomes this announcement from the UK government today. ATI funding enables us and our partners to deliver these exciting projects that are critical to the delivery of the zero carbon element of our net zero road map and will help position the UK as a leader on the pathway to more sustainable flight.

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