A project to build an electric powered commercial aircraft is one of the big winners from an announcement today (16 July) of £343 million worth of government and industry investment in the aviation industry.

Greg Clark, secretary of state for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) unveiled the funding on the first day of the international Farnborough Airshow, which takes place every two years.

The potentially revolutionary E-Fan X project, which aims to demonstrate that hybrid-electric propulsion can be used for commercial flights, has been awarded £68 million.

Airbus, Rolls-Royce and Siemens are collaborating to develop the project, which could lead to a re-evaluation of how aircrafts are designed.

Rolls-Royce’s ACCEL project to design, build and flight test a high performance electric powertrain has received a share of £70 million funding.

Clark also announced that the government is embarking on talks with aviation companies on a sector deal for the industry.

Aviation minister Baroness Sugg, said: “The development of quicker, quieter and cleaner aircraft will transform the UK’s transport market and open up new and more sustainable ways for passengers to travel between our cities and regions and across the globe.”

In order to comply with the UK’s statutory 2050 target to reduce carbon emissions by 80 per cent, the Committee on Climate Change has calculated that aviation greenhouse gases must be cut to 2005 levels despite a 60 per cent anticipated increase in flights by that date.

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