Tawazun invests in hydrogen aircraft project

The UAE’s Strategic Development Fund (SDF) – the investment arm of Tawazun Economic Council – has invested into the development of a hydrogen powered aviation programme.

It has joined Motus Ventures in the latest cash injection into Cranfield Aerospace Solutions (CAeS) Project Fresson programme.

Abdulla Naser Al Jaabari, Managing Director and CEO of SDF, said “We are pleased to invest in CAeS, a leading developer of aircraft powered by hydrogen fuel cells, through our Venture Capital fund.

“Our interest in hydrogen as a sustainable and clean energy source for aerospace, our confidence in CAeS's capabilities, and the significance of pragmatically operating within the regulatory environment — all of which CAeS has demonstrated — have contributed to our decision to invest. Additionally, we are confident in the Project Fresson consortium, which is being headed by CAeS. We look forward to working with CAeS, as an active shareholder, and supporting the expansion of the business.”

Fresson is aiming to deliver the world’s first fully certified zero-emissions commercial passenger aircraft to the market.

CAeS is working up to the design and manufacture of a new-build, 19-seat and 75-seat green aircraft. The project has started with converting a Britten Norman Islander 9-seat aircraft by transforming its propulsion system from conventional fossil fuel to that of gaseous hydrogen via a fuel cell and electric motor. The end solution will deliver carbon emissions free commercial air travel and is planned to be certified for passenger flight in 2025.