UK Aerospace – the future's bright, the future’s Green!

A dramatic new era of aviation is emerging!

Despite the current collapse in demand for air travel caused by Covid and resulting knock-on effect to the Aerospace industry, the medium-term future is somewhat enticing.

Not only do we have the very real prospect of electric flight operating commercially within the next decade, but also jets flying at five times the speed of sound. This coupled with the momentum behind hydrogen fuel cells as another viable green energy solution for the sector has transformed aerospace into one of the most exciting industry sectors for the adoption and advance of new technologies.

So, as we say farewell to the Boeing 747, this new wave of design and technology is being ushered in, and encouragingly supported in part by the likes of Rolls-Royce, whom despite its current troubles is one of the main supporters of this sea-change.

Having partnered with several emerging new technology companies in recent years, one such investment is with Reaction Engines in Abingdon, to investigate how its ground breaking cooling technology can be integrated into both civil and military aircraft that has really caused a stir.

With an engine capable of operating at more than 2,500 mph, it combines a gas turbine with rocket technology to really test the limits of aerospace technology. However, the real breakthrough is a highly efficient heat exchanger capable of cooling from 900 degrees in a second, which in turn has significant applications in other sectors including automotive as well as the fledgling electric aircraft industry too.

Another breakthrough technology company also backed by Rolls-Royce and the Aerospace Technology Institute is Electroflight in Gloucester. Pioneers in bespoke battery and energy storage systems for the aviation industry, they are a high growth company with influence that also extends to alternative sectors. With numerous developments in the pipeline for a range of low-carbon energy systems and resulting environmentally friendly flight, the opportunities are wide ranging for ma host of applications and ultimate end users.     

And then moving even further along the green spectrum is the revival of the Airship sector, with Britain positioned again at the forefront of this technology. Hybrid Air Vehicles in Bedford is well on its way having already developed the world’s largest aircraft – the length of a football pitch and height of six double decker buses.

Capable of carrying up to 10 tonnes of freight, the airship sector is looking to take a chunk of the airfreight market, currently worth $120bn. This particular craft is already highly environmental in comparison to traditional aircraft (75% less polluting), but once hydrogen fuel cells come of age, then this form of transport should achieve the holy grail of zero emissions.

Another encouraging sign of support for the Aerospace manufacturing sector is the recently launched FlyZero initiative. Backed by the UK Government’s Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS), the aim is to pull together expertise from across the breadth of UK supply chain and universities in an initial 12-month programme to look at the design challenges and market opportunity of potential zero-emission aircraft concepts. The ultimate vision being zero-carbon emission commercial flight achieved by 2030.

However, in the short-term there are more challenging times ahead for UK Aerospace as the sector re-sizes and adapts to a new and changed market place. But one thing is for sure, Britain remains at the forefront of this new and high demand low-carbon aerospace technology that is now coming of age. With the right level of support and commitment plus vision for the future in place, the UK aerospace sector is most definitely looking green and mean!

Consilium Recruit is already as an established recruitment partner to several battery technology and green aviation organisations including the heralded UK Battery Industrialisation Centre in Coventry – one of the key catalyst’s for future battery technology development and production in the UK.

So, should you be interested in talking to us about any aspect of recruitment within this sector, either as an employer or job seeker, don’t hesitate to make contact with James Charlett – or visit

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James Charlett

1st September

Aerospace & Defence Industry Insight