Hybrid Air Vehicles are pleased to announce a significant grant from the Regional Growth Fund. This fund is designed to create economic growth and lasting employment. Today, the Deputy PM is announcing an extension of this funding.
The Government’s Regional Growth Fund has invested nearly £3 billion to help businesses in England to grow; so far generating over 100,000 jobs. Fifty-six new awards in round six and seven through exceptional RGF support – announced on 12 February 2015, gives £297 million to sixty-three projects and programs. This will create and safeguard thousands more jobs and unlock an additional £1.5 billion private sector investment.
The RGF funding will enable a truly ground-breaking, entirely new type of aircraft to return to flight. This innovation is Britain at its best and will enable a British SME to maintain its global market leadership in an aviation market independently assessed to be worth over $50 billion over the next twenty years. The Government backing immediately unlocks equity investment from private individuals and will ultimately lead to commercial agreements with customers, who will continue the funding of the business through a series of trials and demonstrations taking place during 2016. This will lead to orders and a successful business, manufacturing Airlander, going forward. Hybrid Air Vehicles will be creating hundreds of jobs to achieve all this, benefiting both the wider UK economy through exports and the Bedfordshire region more directly.
NE Bedfordshire MP Alistair Burt has welcomed the Regional Growth Fund award to Hybrid Air Vehicles of Cardington, for further development work on the next generation of commercial airships. Mr. Burt, whose constituency includes the famous Cardington Sheds which saw the building of the R101, is a strong supporter of the venture, which will place the UK at the forefront of new technology harnessed to classic air transportation.
Mr. Burt said, ‘I am delighted at the success of Hybrid Air Vehicles in winning this award, which is further proof of the sustainability of this developing technology which has so many applications. To see the new airship taking shape at Cardington is very exciting, an extraordinary combination of proud history and new science. I wish the next phase very well indeed, with all that it means for a fast-developing hub of new science, jobs and research in the area.’
This is in addition to an exciting week in which we also won the Smart Product Award in the South-East Regional Final of the EEF/Aldermore Future Manufacturing Awards. The Smart Product Award aims to…’highlight the resilience, determination and ingenuity of the UK’s manufacturing community.’ It’s great to get this far and now we’re looking forward to finding out how we get on in the national awards in April.
Airlander won several innovation awards in 2014, and we are thrilled to kick-off 2015 with these further validations. Airlander is the largest and one of the greenest aircraft in the world. It takes the best of airplanes, helicopters and airships, and combines them in a unique way, to create an entirely new type of aircraft. The ground-breaking capabilities of Airlander are endorsed by this prestigious award. The Airlander’s shape makes it revolutionary; it provides aerodynamic lift, which is 40% of the total lift the Airlander produces. The rest of Airlander’s lift comes from helium – enough to transport 10 tons of cargo, or keep a full crew aloft for five days. With its ability to fly for days without refueling and land on any flat surface, the Airlander is the perfect vehicle for humanitarian, transport, and search-and-rescue missions.
The picture above shows a Computational Fluid Dynamics solution of an early design. An Airlander vehicle is specially shaped to provide aerodynamic lift and as a consequence vortices are formed. The picture above shows the vorticity distribution just behind the vehicle.
This is the 2nd major government grant HAV has received. Last year, an Innovate UK Grant from the UK government has funded, and made possible, the majority of this engine and wind tunnel testing work currently taking place. Extensive work continues with all our partners in the Innovate UK Grant: Blue Bear Systems Research; Forward Composites; Cranfield University; University of Liverpool and the University of Sheffield. The UK government is firmly behind us developing this technology further.
Stephen McGlennan, HAV CEO, said, “We are delighted to have received RGF funding. The commitment of the UK Government to our business is vital, and this will ensure we fly our innovative Airlander aircraft and enter the commercial market. To achieve this we need to create jobs, and the RGF grant immediately helps us to do this. We know the demand for Airlander is enormous, and we relish creating exports and further jobs as we lead the field globally.”
Source: Hybrid Air Vehicles, Press Release