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Future Flight

The Future Flight Challenge will enable the UK to build, use and export new, greener ways of flying through advances in electric and autonomous flight technology. 


Future Flight

What is the Future Flight Challenge?

This challenge aims to revolutionise the way people, goods and services fly and position the UK as a world leader in aviation products and markets worth over $675 billion (£559bn) to 2050.

It will support the development, in the UK, of new technologies from freight-carrying drones to urban air vehicles to hybrid-electric regional aircraft.

The challenge will also develop the supporting ground infrastructure,regulation and control systems, required to use these new aircraft practically and safely.

These new modes of travel will increase mobility, reduce road congestion, improve connectivity, increase UK manufacturing opportunities and help aviation to reduce its environmental impact around the world.

What’s the investment?

The Future Flight programme is funded by £125 million from the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund which is expected to be matched by up to £175 million from industry. 

What are the opportunities?

The UK has been at the forefront of aviation for more than 100 years. Now, through the Future Flight Challenge, this country will lead a new revolution in aviation by bringing together technologies in electrification, digital and autonomy to create new modes of air travel and capability. 

Think flying taxis, drones delivering goods and services, and small, all-electric aircraft – innovations that could address the mobility and congestion problems faced by increasingly urban, ageing populations, and reduce the carbon footprint of the global aviation system. 

And, to enable widespread, safe use of these new vehicles, the Future Flight Challenge will also help the wider aviation system to develop upgraded physical, computer and regulatory infrastructure. 

The challenge will cover four areas of activity:

• Control and regulations including air traffic management

• New operating models

• Ground infrastructure 

• Integrating new aircraft with a new aviation system