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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

Launching on 6 September, 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.

This competition is split into two strands. The strands are:

Details of both strands are available now and KTN will host a briefing event on 14th September.

Click here to register for14th September, Future Flight phase 3 competition briefing


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’s forthcoming Phase 3 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 

8th September | Workshop: Creating an Accessible Future Flight

10th September | Future Flight Cafe: ATOMICUS: Creating an integrated air cargo solution

14th September | Future Flight phase 3 competition briefing

14th September | Future Flight Café: Creating a safe coordinated operational environment for drones

17th September | Future Flight Café: Developing zero emission UAV flight


Recordings of previous events

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 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 find new collaborative partners and see the breadth of investment and expertise in the UK.

View the Future Flight Landscape Map




Our Future Flight Expert

Hannah Abson

Read full profile

Funding Opportunities

Future flight challenge phase 3: two strands - demonstration and cross-cutting technologies

UK registered businesses can apply for a share of up to £65 million to develop and demonstrate integrated aviation systems and new vehicle technologies. This funding is from the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund.

Opens: 06/09/2021 Closes: 03/11/2021

Explore Further

DASA Space to Innovate Campaign: Bravo Drop

This Defence and Security Accelerator (DASA) campaign seeks proposals for novel and innovative future space technologies.

Opens: 13/09/2021 Closes: 09/11/2021

Explore Further
24th September

Future Flight Fridays: Public trust - social science considerations

This session will explore some of the wider social concerns arising in relation to Future flight and think through the priorities we need to consider in order to realise the 2030 vision for future flight in the UK.

Register here



KTN launches Future Flight landscape map

KTN’s Future Flight Landscape map connects the wide variety of UK sectors and expertise that are fundamental to the third aviation revolution.

Read more


Accessibility across all transport modes

The Department for Transport has announced a range of initiatives to support and enable confident travel for disabled people, linked to the National Disability Strategy. Disabled passengers will have better accessibility when using transport and a significant say in how they travel and how the future of transport is shaped.  The initiatives are welcomed by KTN’s Transport Team, who are acutely aware of the importance of accessibility across all modes of transport.

Read more

Programmes related to Future Flight

View all our programmes

Future Flight Landscape

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

Learn More