The H2GEAR programme, involving leading academics at Newcastle University’s School of
Engineering and led by GKN Aerospace, will be at the heart of the technological developments needed for the future of more sustainable aviation. The programme will have access to equipment at the DER-IC North East Centre in Sunderland, including a power electronics assembly line and a flexible electric machines assembly line.

The Newcastle University team will use their understanding of electronic materials, power
electronics and electrical power networks to develop an ultra-high efficiency power and
propulsion system that will provide the backbone of this advanced technology. The programme will develop a cryogenically enhanced propulsion system for short-distance aircraft that could be scaled up to larger aircraft. Liquid hydrogen is being converted to electricity within a fuel cell system which efficiently powers the aircraft and eliminates all harmful CO2 emissions. H2GEAR will create a new generation of clean air travel and reinforce the UK’s position at the forefront of aerospace technology research and development. Newcastle University’s collaboration with GKN Aerospace, Intelligent Energy, Aeristech, University of Manchester and University of Birmingham is expected to create more than 3,000 jobs in the next decade.

The programme is supported by £27m of Aerospace Technology Institute funding, matched by GKN Aerospace and its industrial partners to make a total investment of £54m.