This website uses cookies
More information
Business Air News Bulletin
Business Air News Bulletin
The monthly news publication for aviation professionals.

Why visit ACE ’24?

Related background information from the Handbook...
The monthly news publication for aviation professionals.

Request your printed copy

Cranfield receives investment for Project Fresson advancement
To continue work on Project Fresson CAeS needs more private investment. Tawazun SDF and Motus Ventures have shown their confidence in its ability to deliver hydrogen technology with a venture capital commitment.
CEO Paul Hutton.
Read this story in our September 2022 printed issue.

Cranfield Aerospace Solutions (CAeS) has secured investment from the Strategic Development Fund (SDF), the investment arm of the Tawazun Economic Council of the UAE, and California-based venture capital fund Motus Ventures, taking its current investment round to £14.4million.

CAeS is a UK pioneer in aerospace design and the manufacture of new aircraft design concepts, complex modifications to existing aircraft and integration of cutting-edge technologies to meet the most challenging issues facing the aerospace industry today. CAeS focus is now firmly on Project Fresson, the unlocking of commercial hydrogen-electric propulsion flight.

CEO Paul Hutton says: “We are very excited to welcome our new investors, Tawazun SDF and Motus Ventures, to join us on our journey in delivering the world's first fully certified zero-emissions commercial passenger aircraft to the market. To continue the work on Project Fresson we need private investment. The onboarding of Tawazun SDF and Motus Ventures shows the confidence and trust they have in our experience and ability to deliver the technology needed to create the future of aviation.”

Project Fresson is the development of a regulatory certified, commercially viable zero-emissions aircraft, initially with hybrid-electric propulsion system and now hydrogen fuel cells with wing-mounted fuel tanks, using the Britten-Norman BN-2 Islander. Cranfield applied for UK government grants through the Aerospace Technology Institute and UK Research and Innovation, and approached private enterprises. The project targets short flights, and is being considered for Scottish airline Loganair's short flights to the Orkney Islands' six airfields, including the world's shortest, the Westray to Papa Westray flight, at 1.5 minutes. First flight is still planned for 2022, and entry into service for late 2023 or early 2024.

SDF managing director and CEO Abdulla Naser Al Jaabari adds: “We are pleased to invest in CAeS, a leading developer of hydrogen fuel cell powered aircraft, through our Venture Capital fund. The investment is based on our interest in hydrogen as a clean power source in aerospace, our conviction in the capabilities of CAeS and the importance of working within the regulatory environment in a pragmatic and effective approach, which CAeS demonstrated. Further, we are confident in Project Fresson's consortium led by CAeS, and we look forward to engaging with CAeS as an active shareholder and supporting the growth and development of the businesses.”

SDF is a UAE government owned investment fund that invests in strategic sectors including advanced industrial, aerospace, autonomous and mobility technologies.

Other News
magniX achieves milestone in NASA flight demo programme
May 1, 2024
Achieving success under conditions up to 27,500ft is significant; results such as this, and the recent LoI from Harbour Air for 50 magni650 engines, are major steps to the electrification of regional aircraft.
ZeroAvia reveals manufacturing and supply plans
April 25, 2024
While the market for ZeroAvia powertrains is thousands of engines across commercial aircraft, there will be other applications where its technologies can play a major role in the supply chain for other OEMs.
Britten Norman celebrates 70th anniversary
April 22, 2024
The business was conceived as an aircraft modification company before a gap in the market was identified for a high payload, short sector, STOL aircraft capable of operating anywhere with little infrastructure or support.