Hydrogen aircraft pilot among those awarded government backing


A pilot project to deliver goods between Bristol and Cardiff using a hydrogen-powered electric aircraft is among the first to receive a share of over £33mn in government funding.

On 9 November, BEIS announced the first wave of winners to receive backing through the Future Flight Challenge, with the 20 winning ideas awarded a share of £7.35mn. They include Dock-to-Dock in Cardiff, which will aim to demonstrate an alternative to road transportation between coastal cities by delivering goods by air using clean energy. It will focus on vehicle performance and the infrastructure necessary for hydrogen-powered electric aircraft. As they take-off and land vertically, runways are not required.

Other projects to receive backing, including The Light Aircraft Company in Norfolk, which is aiming to integrate electric propulsion into existing aircraft, enabling electric flight of small aircraft, and a project where unmanned aerial vehicles will be used in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly to deliver PPE and Covid-19 testing kids to vulnerable, rural communities by Droneprep, Consortiq, and Windracers.

More projects will be announced in the coming weeks, with BEIS confirming a total of 34 will receive a share of £30mn, alongside an additional 14 projects focused specifically on responding to the coronavirus. These will receive a share of a further £3.5mn.

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