British companies collaborate to lead the way in sustainable flight solutions for light aircraft


Swift Aircraft selects GKN Aerospace to help reach RAF’s net zero targets.

Swift Aircraft, the company behind the brand new British aerobatic light aircraft, the Swift, has brought together a team of British innovators to help make sustainable flight a reality. This is supported by the Project MONET contract recently awarded by the UK MoD to demonstrate technologies that can deliver net zero emissions in flight.

GKN Aerospace is leading the way in the development of a ground-breaking liquid hydrogen propulsion system and is at the forefront of the next generation of sustainable aircraft technology. The company is already developing a liquid hydrogen solution (LH2) for sub-regional aircraft that can be scaled for larger aircraft under their H2Gear project, supported by ATI funding. The company is now joining Swift Aircraft to develop design concepts for the integration of this technology for light aircraft. The ambitions of Swift Aircraft and GKN Aerospace align, albeit in different sectors in the aviation market, so the collaboration allows the breadth of the industry to be reached.

Focus on large scale aircraft has been significant in the race to a sustainable aviation future; now the collaboration of Swift Aircraft and GKN Aerospace under

Project MONET puts the light aircraft industry into the spotlight. Light aircraft are the cornerstone for training the vast number of commercial and military pilots needed for the future, and developing these fleets to net zero is vital to the future of the planet. Project MONET is part of the RAF’s net zero 2040 programme, a research and development project designed to demonstrate the most convincing sustainable aviation technologies for a future fleet of military training aircraft. GKN Aerospace’s responsibility in this design study is to develop a concept and development plan for a LH2 solution including aircraft installation and performance, together with analysing the impact on flight training, ground handling and logistics support.

Liquid hydrogen power systems for the light aviation market is a tremendous breakthrough and GKN Aerospace is the perfect partner to explore this opportunity under Project MONET. The aviation industry will see a monumental shift towards renewable energies in future decades and GKN’s commitment to developing a sustainable aviation future across the whole industry is unrivaled. I am thrilled that they have joined Swift to help validate the integration of this technology into a light aircraft system.

David Stanbridge Managing Director of Swift Aircraft

Russ Dunn Chief Technology Officer of GKN Aerospace said:” We are passionate about enabling aviation to thrive in a sustainable way. Whilst our focus is very much on pushing the boundaries of payload and range to maximize the environmental benefit of our technology, we are also proud to partner with Swift Aircraft and to contribute to the development of liquid hydrogen power solutions for the RAF. Together with our UK partners, we have the opportunity to also shape the future of military aircraft by harnessing the power of hydrogen, enhancing performance and reducing the environmental impact.”

Swift Aircraft

Swift Aircraft is an SME based at Scottow Enterprise Park (formerly RAF Coltishall) in Norfolk. The company aims to produce a sustainable British aircraft that could lead the way across the globe in military and commercial aviation. It was granted a DASA Innovation Loan in September 2022 to support the development of the Swift, which will be the first British Elementary Flight Training (EFT) aircraft to fly in over four decades, and recently won a RAF RCO contract, as part of Project MONET, to demonstrate sustainable technologies. Swift Aircraft is part of Swift Technology Group, a group of innovative design, manufacturing and engineering companies striving to provide sustainable futures across a range of industries.

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