Flying taxis, drones delivering medical supplies, small electric aircraft, vertical take-off and landing vehicles and autonomous aircraft are some of the innovations that could transform aviation and broader transportation in the future.
New systems and technologies must be developed to allow them to use existing airports and airspace to fly in and around rural and urban environments. New business models must be created, and the public must have confidence in new services.
The government has set aside £125 million as part of the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund Future Flight Challenge to make the UK a world leader in aviation systems, products and markets. The funding supports development of capabilities to enable safe operations of these new modes of air transportation.
Innovate UK, part of UK Research and Innovation, has up to £30 million from the fund to support projects that develop and demonstrate integrated aviation systems for new electric and autonomous aircraft.