Future Flight

Future Flight can transform our lives. It will inspire the next generation of sustainable aviation and revolutionise how we connect people, deliver goods and provide services, using new classes of electric and autonomous vehicles.

The challenge focuses on the development of the digital and physical infrastructure, regulation and control systems required to use these new aircraft practically and safely.

These new modes of travel will increase mobility, reduce road congestion, improve connectivity, increase UK manufacturing opportunities and help reduce the environmental impact of air travel. A new report commissioned by UKRI and the Future Flight Challenge suggests potential cost savings of 20%-48% from the use cases studied.

The Future Flight programme is funded by £125m from the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund which is expected to be matched by up to £175m from industry.



Future Flight will deliver a new revolution in aviation by bringing together technologies in electrification, digital and autonomy to create new modes of air travel and capability; enabling flying taxis, drones delivering goods and services, and small, all-electric aircraft – innovations that could address the mobility and congestion problems faced by increasingly urban, ageing populations, and reduce the carbon footprint of the global aviation system.

To deliver on the ambitions of Future Flight it will require collaboration amongst a diverse network of innovators, particularly those organisations who do not traditionally operate in the aviation sector. Future Flight needs digital innovators, business model experts, local authorities, asset owners architects, AI, regulatory experts and social scientists to list a few.


Future Flight Phase 3 – now closed

Phase 3 of this competition will see an investment of up to £65m in innovation projects demonstrating integrated aviation systems and either vehicle technologies or enabling technologies that enable new classes of electric or autonomous air vehicles.

The aim of this competition is to fund projects that will deliver the 2024 vision of the Future Flight Challenge and position the UK as a leader in the third revolution of aviation. This competition will build on the success of the 2020 Phase 2 competition and will focus primarily on the demonstration aspects of these novel air vehicles and systems.


Future Flight Showcase

KTN and UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) have set up a new Future Flight Challenge Showcase to allow those currently delivering a Future Flight project or those who wish to get involved in the competition to showcase their expertise.

The aim of the Showcase is to help match expertise to projects and proposals.  Each video is just 2-minutes long so make a coffee, settle back and browse the video gallery now to complete your project team or find someone in need of your skillset.

Browse the showcase gallery here.



Compiled by leading experts from industry, academia and government, the future flight vision and roadmap sets out how zero emission air travel within and between British cities could be commonplace by 2030.

The vision and roadmap sets out future flight:

  • market opportunities: global trends and drivers, threats and opportunities
  • consumer vision 2030: how consumers will benefit
  • industry vision 2030: how the future aviation environment will operate
  • example use cases supporting the 2030 vision
  • roadmap (now to 2030)

You can download the roadmap here.


Upcoming events

New Future Flight events will be added here when they are open for booking in 2022

Recordings of previous events

Future Flight Fridays: a sustainable aviation flight path
Workshop: Creating an Accessible Future Flight
Future Flight Cafe: ATOMICUS: Creating an integrated air cargo solution
Future Flight phase 3 competition briefing
Future Flight Café: Creating a safe coordinated operational environment for drones
Future Flight Café: Developing zero emission UAV flight
Future Flight Fridays: Future Flight roadmap 
SKYDROCELL: Improving autonomous flight safety with 3D risk maps
Future Flight Café: Skybus: Transforming mobility through a mass air transport system
Future Flight Café: world first dynamic safe zone system for autonomous urban flight
Future Flight Challenge Ambition
Future Flight Café: delivering an integrated electric aviation system
Future Flight Café: creating the first 19-seat hybrid electric aircraft
Future Flight Café: towards a zero carbon, affordable, scalable and safer sub-regional air transport network
Future Flight Café: transforming flight planning for the future aviation systems of systems
Future Flight Café: towards an innovative drone medical delivery network
Future Flight Café: UK’s first remote low-carbon aviation test centre
Future Flight Café: transforming off-shore wind farm inspection using drone swarms
Future Flight Fridays: the role of Local Authorities in Future Flight
Future Flight Café: new situational awareness technologies towards integrated UAV operations
Future Flight Fridays: dealing with Complexity
Future Flight Fridays: economic Benefits of Future Flight
Future Flight Fridays: women in Future Flight
Future Flight Fridays: air mobility of the future


Future Flight newsletter

KTN is updating the Future Flight community every few months with industry news, updates from the CAA and the Future Flight Challenge Director and showcases some of the projects funded through the first two phases of the competition.  To sign up for the newsletter click here.  You can access all the newsletter editions below.

Edition 4

Edition 3

Edition 2

Edition 1


Future Flight Landscape Map

KTN has launched an interactive map connecting the wide variety of UK sectors and expertise that are fundamental to the third aviation revolution.

This interactive landscape map provides insight into the capability in the UK to support the integration of new aircraft with the digital and physical infrastructure necessary for future flight.  You can explore the map to see the breadth of investment and expertise in the UK.

View the Future Flight Landscape Map




Hannah Abson

Our Expert

Hannah Abson

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Current Future Flight funding opportunities

Innovate UK Smart Grants: July 2022

Opens: 28/07/2022 Closes: 26/10/2022

UK registered organisations can apply for a share of up to £25 million for game-changing and commercially viable R&D innovation that can significantly impact the UK economy. This funding is from Innovate UK, part of UK Research and Innovation.

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High Altitude Intelligence: Cross Sector Innovation Challenge

Opens: 18/07/2022 Closes: 02/09/2022

UK registered organisations can apply for a share of up to £4 million for projects up to £2 million in size to develop payloads and solutions for data processing, evaluation and dissemination to complement ongoing High Altitude Pseudo Satellites. Your proposal must show utility in…

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iX Challenge: Novel Sensor Payloads for Asset Inspection Drones

Opens: 05/08/2022 Closes: 30/09/2022

The Innovation Exchange programme is working alongside Futureworx to find novel sensors and/or data processing techniques that can be deployed in scenarios offering relatively low Size-Weight-Power-Cooling (SWAPC) budgets. These will initially be aimed at demanding industrial environments, such as t

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Future Flight for Local Authorities
Recorded: 21st June

Future Flight for Local Authorities

Join us for this webinar where we’ll be exploring the role of Local Authorities within Future Flight, the importance of community engagement, and hear from Coventry City Council on their experience with the Challenge.

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Join a new group of aviation experts making zero emission flight a reality


Join a new group of aviation experts making zero emission flight a reality

A new Zero Emission Flight Delivery Group has been launched to focus on catapulting the latest innovations in aviation decarbonisation technology.

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Phase II & COVID-19 Biannual Cohort event: Setting the scene for the UK’s third aviation revolution


Phase II & COVID-19 Biannual Cohort event: Setting the scene for the UK’s third aviation revolution

48 grant-funded projects, pioneering the future of UK aviation, flocked to Birmingham’s NEC to celebrate achievements and outline developments from the Phase II & COVID-19 funds of the Future Flight Challenge.

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Programmes related to Future Flight

Future Flight Landscape

Future Flight Landscape

Connecting the wide variety of UK sectors and expertise that are fundamental to the third aviation revolution.