In just one year, flights produce more than 900 million tonnes of CO2. The aviation industry is a significant contributor to climate change, but the obvious solution – to eradicate air travel – simply isn’t viable. Air travel is critical, not only for business and leisure but for medical and military purposes. Hybrid Air Vehicles is bringing to market an aircraft with a helium-filled hull that can reduce emissions by 90% compared to planes in similar roles.
Offering the innovative new solution is Tom Grundy, CEO of Hybrid Air Vehicles. Recognising that planes use much of their fuel to lift the weight of the aircraft, the Hybrid Air Vehicles team have developed Airlander; a hybrid aircraft that uses buoyancy from helium to support the vehicle’s weight, meaning fuel is largely only necessary for propulsion.
With help from Innovate UK’s Sustainable Innovation Fund and Covid Continuity Grant, the Hybrid Air Vehicles team were able to drive their focus into working with Collins Aerospace and the University of Nottingham to develop, test, and build Airlander’s electric motors; the first electric motors designed for a vehicle of this class. The electric motors will allow HAV to deliver a hybrid-electric Airlander from 2026, followed by an all-electric Airlander in the near future.