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.
What are the opportunities?
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.
Watch a video about Windracers, one of the companies that has participated in Future Flight, below: