The Future of Advanced Air Mobility

UK's FlyZero Recruits Leadership Team for Carbon-Free Aviation Program

The UK’s Aerospace Technology Institute this week appointed 10 specialists to the leadership team for its FlyZero program. The government-funded work is aiming to support the start of carbon-free commercial air services by 2030.

The FlyZero management team announced on January 7 will lead a group of around 100 technical experts in an initial 12-month strategic research project investigating the design challenges, manufacturing demands, and marketing opportunity of potential zero-emission aircraft concepts. It was launched in July 2020 by Alok Sharma, who was then secretary of state for business, energy, and industrial strategy.

The new team has been drawn largely from UK-based aircraft engines maker Rolls-Royce, as well as aerospace group Airbus, GKN, and British universities. Like other UK aerospace companies, Rolls-Royce has been downsizing in the wake of the Covid pandemic, and last year it scrapped its joint E-FanX program to develop hybrid propulsion systems with Airbus. However, it is still working on the Accel 1 electric aircraft technology demonstrator.

The latest FlyZero appointments include the following positions:

  • Dr. Katy Milne (head of industrial strategy) was formerly chief engineer for the National Centre for Additive Manufacturing’s £14 million DRAMA program. She has 15 years’ experience in manufacturing research and supply-chain engagement at the Manufacturing Technology Centre, Rolls-Royce, and Imperial College in London.
  • Mark Howard (head of commercial strategy) previously held engineering and commercial roles with Airbus, most recently head of business development.
  • Naresh Kumar (head of sustainability) is a visiting professor in aeronautics and automotive at Loughborough University and previously was chief of environmental technology with Rolls-Royce.
  • Steve Newbury (academic coordinator) is a visiting professor in future business and materials at the University of Oxford.
  • Chris Hughes (head of project management) was head of advanced product development with Spirit Aerosystems UK, having previously been head of engineering for the wing of the Airbus A350 airliner.
  • Simon Webb (chief engineer, propulsion) was involved in developing a titanium-composite fan for Rolls-Royce, having previously worked on the Trent XWB aircraft engine program.
  • Tim Galsworthy (chief engineer-airframe) is a wing specialist with 42 years of experience at Airbus, where he worked on the A400M and A350 programs.
  • Mark Whillier (chief engineer-airframe) is an aerostructure specialist joining FlyZero from GKN Aerospace Services.
  • David Debney (chief engineer-whole aircraft integration) joined ATI as head of technology for whole aircraft in January 2019. He was previously chief of future aircraft concepts with Rolls-Royce, where he was responsible for developing concept designs for hybrid propulsion systems.