FlyZero and ACCEL recognised at Royal Aeronautical Society Awards 2022

ATI Chief Technology Officer Simon Weeks reflects on this year’s Royal Aeronautical Society Awards.

FlyZero picked up a Silver Medal at the RAeS Awards ceremony in London on 28th November 2022

Last month, I was lucky to be at the Royal Aeronautical Society Awards (RAeS) presentation at Hamilton Place in London and it was fantastic to see the ATI well represented with medals awarded to our FlyZero project, ATI board member Alan Newby and the ATI-backed ACCEL project.

Awarded since 1909, when Wilbur and Orville Wright received the Society’s first Gold Medal, the prestigious Royal Aeronautical Society medals are awarded for major contributions to the advancement of aerospace art, science and engineering. These awards are a celebration of the strength and depth of the UK aerospace sector with inspirational people receiving deserved recognition for their achievements both as individual and in teams.

The ATI’s FlyZero project which set out to explore zero-carbon emission commercial air travel and concluded in March 2022 with the publishing of over 50 detailed reports, received an RAeS Silver Medal. In just 12 months, FlyZero advanced the understanding of zero-carbon emission aircraft technologies and capabilities building knowledge, networks and an ambition for action across UK aerospace, aviation and beyond.

The outcomes of the FlyZero project are already having an impact today and we have seen significant ramp-up of activity in the development of hydrogen propulsion technologies including Rolls-Royce and easyJet’s hydrogen gas turbine test and a new hydrogen fuel cell engine prototype unveiled by Airbus.

Congratulations to every FlyZero team member and thank you to the contributing companies for being part of this ambitious project at what was a challenging time for industry.

Alan Newby, ATI board member and Director Aerospace Technology and Future Programmes at Rolls-Royce, received a Gold Medal for his major contribution to the family of Rolls-Royce Trent engines for the Boeing 787, Airbus A350 and A330 NEO aircraft. His award also recognises his definition of the company’s product and technology strategy and all of us at ATI congratulate Alan and thank him for his contributions as a member of our board.

Finally, the Electro-Flight team in partnership with Rolls-Royce were awarded the Society’s Silver Medal for creating the powerplant and airframe for a world record breaking all-electric aircraft under the ACCEL Spirit of Innovation project. The ATI is proud to have co-funded this exciting project which took a critical step in understanding how electric propulsion fits into our journey to Destination Zero.

I’d like to extend my own personal congratulations to all this year’s award winners and say thank you to the Royal Aeronautical Society for hosting a fitting celebration of the capability and advancements being made in our sector at this exciting and challenging time. The society receives in the order of 100 nominations for its awards each year, but would like to see a lot more – are we missing out on our unsung heroes because they haven’t been nominated? So please nominate for the next awards.

The evening brought home to me the importance of being a member of a professional society or institute. I’ve been a member of the RAeS for most of my professional career and have hugely benefitted from being connected to a large body of fellow professionals, in terms of network, continuing professional development and being able to influence on a national scale. I would urge all professionals to consider joining a relevant professional society and actively engaging, both at a local and national levels.