Britten-Norman Islander aircraft Image Cranfield University

Cranfield Aerospace Solutions (CAeS) – the UK SME leading the Project Fresson consortium, has announced it will exploit recent advances in hydrogen fuel cell technology to develop a commercially viable, retrofit powertrain solution for the nine-passenger Britten-Norman Islander aircraft.

Following a rigorous assessment, CAeS said it is delighted to welcome Ricardo UK Ltd and Innovatus Technologies Ltd to the Fresson consortium.

Ricardo UK Ltd brings expertise in fuel cell system development and Innovatus Technologies Ltd brings their Scottish Hydrogen Fuel Tank (SHyFT) technology.

Paul Hutton, chief executive officer, Cranfield Aerospace Solutions, said:

“This is incredibly important for the Project Fresson Team but also for everyone else around the world interested in zero emissions flight.

“This project can deliver the world’s first truly “green” passenger carrying airline services. The whole team is proud of what Project Fresson has achieved so far and excited about what is to come.

“I am very thankful for the support of the ATI and our investors for making this groundbreaking work a reality.”

Steve Dyke, managing director, Ricardo Automotive and Industrial EMEA Division, said:

“We are proud to join the Cranfield Aerospace Solutions consortium to play our part in helping to reduce the carbon footprint for commercial air passengers.”

Ruan Swart, chief executive officer, Innovatus Technologies Ltd, said:

“We are proud in being selected to join the Cranfield Aerospace Solutions, ‘Project Fresson’, consortium. Our unique and innovative SHyFT solution is game-changing in bringing zero carbon fuel cell energy to commercial reality in the transport sector.”

Project Fresson will deliver an emissions-free (zero CO2), hydrogen-fuel-cell-powered flying demonstrator by September 2022.

To follow the progress of Project Fresson: or follow on Twitter @projectfresson.