FlyZero: six months on

We recently passed the halfway stage of the FlyZero project which in flight terms would mean we’re at cruising altitude, but there’s no signs of easing off the throttle here…

…And with today’s headlines following the IPCC’s Sixth Assessment Report on climate change, the team is doubling down on efforts to set out a route to reality for zero-carbon emission air travel by the end of the decade.

Over the past six months the FlyZero team, made up of experts from across UK aerospace and beyond, have been thoroughly investigating the technologies which have the potential to propel the next generation of aircraft into our skies. After assessing a range of options, we’re focusing our energy on the technology bricks required to make liquid hydrogen and battery electric flights a reality and we’ll soon publish a paper on primary fuel sources to share some details behind our initial findings.

By fusing different technology bricks together, we have created a fleet of innovative scout aircraft, that in turn have been assessed against criteria to ensure our recommendations also meet demanding sustainability, commercial and operational requirements.

As we move into Phase 4 of the project later this month, we’ll be further developing our concept aircraft to meet the markets of tomorrow to enable us to draw the technology roadmaps, sustainability targets and the economic case for accelerating decarbonisation.

I knew when joining the FlyZero project we faced a mammoth task but I’m now more confident than ever that zero-carbon emissions technologies can be powering aircraft in our skies by 2030. The question is where will these be developed and manufactured and I’m committed to making the case for the UK to become a hotbed for sustainable aviation and help to fight climate change at the same time.

Through our work package opportunities where specialist organisations are helping us tackle specific challenges and research partnerships with universities, we’re witnessing the capability we have in the UK to unlock the potential of novel technologies. There are also areas where we’ll need to move quickly to build capability and ensure we are ready to capitalise on the economic benefits on offer.

I’d like to close by inviting you to join our next FlyZero webinar at 3pm on Thursday 23rd September where I’ll be joined by members of the team to share an update on our zero-carbon mission. I look forward to seeing you there.