Future Flight Challenge Phase 2 Project HEART: Hydrogen electric and automated regional transportation

  Project HEART is a consortium of organisations in the UK that are responding to the ISFC Future Flight Challenge (FFC) by Innovate UK. The aim of the competition is to develop and demonstrate integrated aviation systems enabling the introduction of new classes of electric and/or autonomous air vehicles. These could include drones, urban air mobility vehicles or electric regional aircraft. The FFC is a 3-phaseprogramme from 2019-2024.
The organisations include: Blue Bear (BB), ZeroAvia (ZA), Britten-Norman (BN), Fleet OnDemand (FOD), Protium (PT), Inmarsat (INM), Weston Williamson + Partners (WW+P),Highlands and Islands Airport (HIAL), Loganair (LA) and Edinburgh Napier University (ENU)
Plans to utilize hydrogen- electric technologies are central to de-carbonisation of the energy market. In addition, they present opportunities to deliver the same performance as a conventional aircraft engine, but with zero carbon emissions and at around half of the operating costs. This has the potential to revolutionise domestic travel in the UK, and wider. For example, smaller zero-emission aircraft will be able to achieve similar per-seat economics as today’s large regional jets, allowing economical use of smaller local airports for point-to-point travel with virtually no security lines or delays, and a much more pleasant overall flying experience. However, UK public opinions and attitudes towards these technologies reflect Social acceptance issues such as understanding, safety and trust.
The Transport Research Institute (TRI) will address public opinion to understand the potential of hydrogen electric technology amongst stakeholders and end-users, including the public and how that may change as a result of exposure to the project. Another important goal is to understand whether and how specific stakeholder; or user-specific characteristics may expedite or hinder the understanding and acceptance of hydrogen-electric technology and automated aviation. The strength of the TRI is statistical modelling of survey and other data. With qualitative methods, this has the potential to deliver clear organised material for policy or planning. The TRI, will deploy the capacity to account for complex statistical issues that may have substantial implications on the final outputs by employing state-of-the-art modelling techniques. Professor Tariq Muneer of ENU, a power end energy specialist, will review and advise on the technical material.

  • Start Date:

    1 December 2020

  • End Date:

    31 May 2022

  • Activity Type:

    Externally Funded Research

  • Funder:

    Innovate UK

  • Value:

    £107812

Project Team