UK commits £58m to pioneering electric flight

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We might be waiting a while for planes with detachable fuselage, but I think it is fair to say that the aviation industry is desperately in need of innovation—particularly where emissions, pollution and noise reduction are concerned.

That said, whether it’s Norway committing to 100% short-haul electric flight by 2040, or innovative electric and hybrid plane start-ups here in the US, we have seen a few signs recently that there are promising developments on the horizon.

Now the UK government is weighing in.

Fresh off of a controversial decision to approve a third runway at Heathrow, the Conservatives are announcing a £343 million government and industry R&D initiative which includes £58m for E-FAN X, an electrification effort being spearheaded by Airbus, Rolls-Royce and Siemens. The project also includes £70m for ULTRAFAN and ACCEL, initiatives by Rolls-Royce project aimed at improving fuel efficiency, and reducing emissions and engine noise.

I continue to be amazed at how quickly electric commercial flight has become a serious discussion point. Hopefully, funding initiatives like this will help turn it into an actual reality.

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