HydrogenOne, Safran invest in UK hydrogen aircraft firm

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March 24 (Renewables Now) - HydrogenOne Capital Growth plc (LON:HGEN) and the corporate venture arm of French aerospace company Safran Group (EPA:SAF) today announced a common investment in Cranfield Aerospace Solutions Ltd (CAeS), an UK aircraft innovation company.

As part of a funding round, HGEN is investing GBP 7 million (USD 9.2m/EUR 8.4m) and Safran Corporate Ventures GBP 3.5 million in the Cranfield-based firm. CAeS is focused on Project Fresson, which aims to pave the way for commercial hydrogen-electric propulsion flight. Early efforts are concentrated on CAA (Civil Aviation Authority) certification of a Britten-Norman Islander passenger aircraft using hydrogen fuel cell power.

“As we prepare for ground and flight testing, this backing by our investors will enable us to accelerate delivery of our flying demonstrator in 2023 and certified aircraft in 2025,’’ said CAeS chief executive Paul Hutton.

In addition, Safran will partner with CAeS on hydrogen fuel cell powered electric propulsion for aviation.

“This investment and this technological partnership confirm Safran's strategy in net zero aviation and contribute to making Safran a competitive player for the development of fuel cells for aircraft," said Ghislaine Doukhan, chief executive of Safran Power Units.

(GBP 1 = USD 1.319/EUR 1.201)

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Browse all articles from Plamena Tisheva

Plamena has been a UK-focused reporter for many years. As part of the Renewables Now team she is taking a keen interest in policy moves.

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