Imperial War Museum plans zero-carbon aircraft tech centre

Duxford AvTech
Image: Ryan Fletcher |

Imperial War Museums (IWM) and Gonville & Caius College have revealed plans to develop a new centre for the next generation of sustainable air transport at IWM Duxford.

Duxford AvTech, as the centre will be called, will be the UK’s new home for the research and development, prototype testing, certification and manufacture of new low- and zero-carbon advanced air mobility (AAM) technologies.

AAM operators require direct access to an operational airfield with supporting infrastructure and space to research, test and manufacture.

The technologies that will be developed include electric, hydrogen and hybrid-powered aircraft, alternative power sources, new materials, and associated technologies and services to shape future air transport.

The focus will be on small, short-distance transport for cargo, as well as small passenger transport aircraft and non-commercial passenger transport.

Pioneering aircraft innovation

The 45,000 sq m Duxford AvTech development will be located on the west side of IWM Duxford, away from the historic centre of the site, on land owned by IWM and Gonville & Caius College.

The existing museum and airfield site are not part of the new development and will continue to operate as a visitor attraction and part of Imperial War Museums.

Director general of IWM, Caro Howell, said: “Throughout the First and Second World Wars, Duxford was a centre for aviation, embracing pioneering developments in technology and research, and in 1938 Duxford’s No. 19 Squadron was the first RAF squadron to re-equip with the new Supermarine Spitfire.

“Through Duxford AvTech, this tradition will be embraced once again as we aim to create an internationally recognised centre of excellence for the research and manufacture of new, low-carbon aviation technologies.”

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