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Future flight challenge phase 3: strand 1

Fund Name

Future flight challenge phase 3: strand 1

Project Length

12-24 months

Project Value

Between £500k-£15m



The aim of this competition is to fund projects that will deliver the 2024 vision of the Future Flight Challenge and position the UK as a leader in the third revolution of aviation. Innovate UK are looking to fund ambitious projects that will successfully integrate the technical, regulatory, and social challenges necessary to prove these new modes of transport.

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Fund Details

In Strand 1, projects must focus on the demonstration aspects of novel classes of electric or autonomous air vehicles and systems.

The Future Flight Challenge is based around 3 classes of aircraft:

  • Drones or unmanned aircraft systems (UAS)
  • Advanced Air Mobility (AAM)
  • Sub-regional electric or hybrid passenger aircraft

Your proposal must demonstrate the operation of vehicles or enabling systems in a representative environment whilst meeting a viable and challenging use case. Projects must also support the overall objectives of the Future Flight Challenge and align with key Government policies on Net Zero Transport.

Use cases should be real-world applications that drive integration of the different aviation system elements for each of the three Future Flight vehicle classes.

Examples include, but are not limited to:

  • Demonstrations of multiple drones, operating as a beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS) service in a defined geographic area.
  • A multi-modal demonstration of different aircraft types operating in parallel providing an end-to-end solution
  • AAM vehicle operation in a representative environment
  • Scheduled sub-regional electric flights over a representative route


Your project must:

  • have total eligible costs between £500,000 and £15 million
  • start on 1 April 2022
  • end by 31 March 2024
  • last between 12 and 24 months
  • carry out its project work in the UK
  • intend to exploit the results from or in the UK

To lead a project your organisation must:

  • be a UK registered business of any size
  • be or involve at least one UK registered SME
  • collaborate with other UK registered businesses, academic institutions, charities, not-for-profit, public sector organisations or research and technology organisations (RTOs)
  • Academic institutions cannot lead

Talk to us today if you would like to apply for this opportunity.

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