Cranfield Aerospace unveils refurbished R&D facility


Zero-emission aircraft developer, Cranfield Aerospace Solutions (CAeS) has unveiled its refurbished R&D facility and hangar at Cranfield University. 

The facility, leased by CAeS has been refurbished as part of Cranfield University’s decarbonisation plan. The modernised hangar will be used to modify CAeS’ Britten-Norman Islander, which s planned for conversion to a hydrogen-electric propulsion system for entry into service in 2026. It will also be used to work out the procedures and processes required for the maintenance of hydrogen aircraft. 

CAeS CEO, Paul Hutton said: “This modernised hangar becomes a classroom of possibilities, where we will not only deliver the intricacies of zero emissions propulsion but also pioneer maintenance procedures for hydrogen-powered aircraft. Our engineers and technologists, fuelled by curiosity and a passion for sustainability, stand ready to lead the charge at the most exciting stage of our growth yet.” 

CAeS is also closing in on a proposed merger with British aircraft manufacturer, Britten-Norman. As well as the conversion of the Britten-Norman Islander CAeS is planning a series of future zero-emissions aircraft.

Aviation Minister Baroness Vere said: “Cranfield is a historic site for UK aviation: from training RAF pilots and the formation of the College of Aeronautics, to now being at the forefront of emerging technologies like hydrogen fuel-cell aircraft. It is apt therefore that these facilities open a year on from publication of the Jet Zero Strategy. Decarbonising aviation will be challenging, but the experience and ingenuity of UK engineers will see us through. And I am proud to see UK companies leading the way.”