Formula One technology to be used in jet engines

Formula One technology to be used in jet engines

Aerospace engines will incorporate Formula 1 gearbox technology and jets’ landing gear will use electric motors to cut fuel consumption under projects announced by Business Secretary Vince Cable.

The schemes are backed by funding from industry and government to help the UK retain its place as the world’s second-biggest player in the aerospace sector.

Mr Cable said: “The UK’s aerospace industry has been propelled to a position of global excellence by a culmination of winning ideas, innovation and talent.

“This has created new ways to manufacture, new skills and a flexible chain of supplying businesses that will secure the industry’s long-term profitability.”

Revealing how £80m of the £2bn funding pot pledged jointly by business and government to support the sector will be spent, the business minister detailed projects that are being supported under the aerospace industrial strategy.

The projects are:

£14m for research projects using McLaren’s Formula 1 expertise to develop gearboxes for future jet engines

£14m to design landing gear incorporating electric motors so aircraft can taxi without burning jet fuel

£9m to create aircraft that replace hydraulic systems with lighter electric ones

£10m to improve manufacturing of electronics that can operate in harsh environments

£17m for a Rolls-Royce-led project to develop new engine design concepts

£16m for Airbus and Marshalls and universities at Bristol, Loughborough and Cranfield to research and test innovations in wing design – an area where the UK leads the world.

A further £20m is being channelled into skills to help fund apprenticeships in the sector and Masters degrees for engineers.

The announcement came ahead of industry trade body ADS’s annual dinner where the association heard a warning about pulling out of Europe.

Sir Brian Burridge, vice-president of ADS and a senior executive at aerospace and defence group Finmeccanica UK, called on the industry to play a role in keeping Britain in the single market.

“Europe will be high on the agenda. For our part, industry must take a lead in providing the facts and shaping debate on how the EU can foster growth, skills and competitiveness,” he said.

“We need a single market with a common regulatory environment which can exercise a powerful voice in international trade negotiations and provide active support for innovation and new technology.”

Sir Brian also highlighted the shortage of people with science, technology, maths and engineering skills the industry is facing as a major concern, adding that “UK business can’t go on being 55,000 engineers and scientists short every year”.

Britain’s aerospace sector has almost 20pc of the global market, with 2,600 companies directly employing about 100,000 people, according to ADS. UK aerospace businesses generate about £25bn of revenue a year and three-quarters of their total output is exported.

Born to Engineer Weekly

Get the latest Engineering news delivered to your inbox every Monday morning