Technology

RAF Backs UK Military Jet Designer To Develop Convertible Aircraft

Suffolk-based AERALIS has agreed a three-year contract with the Royal Air Force.

A British military jet developer has been backed by the Royal Air Force to develop and grow its convertible aircraft concept.

Suffolk-based AERALIS has agreed a three-year contract for the work with the RAF's Rapid Capabilities Office (RCO).

Its 'modular' aircraft system would allow a single plane to act as both an operational jet and a trainer, by swapping over interchangeable parts, including wings, cockpits and engine compartments.

The concept also aims to reduce costs and complications associated with traditional processes, AERALIS said.

The company is "focused on re-inventing how future military aircraft are developed and operated", according to Chief Executive Officer Tristan Crawford.

"As well as helping to enable rapid, digitally-driven development and the certification of flexible, open-architecture aircraft systems, this supports UK prosperity and the Government goal to champion British innovation," he said.

The design would allow a single plane to act as both an operational jet and a trainer, by swapping over interchangeable parts (Picture: AERALIS).

"We are creating a significant export and global relationship development opportunity for the UK."

With a view to full-scale production, the company says the project has potential to create more than 200 new UK high-value design and manufacturing jobs, with another 3,800 supported in the British supply chain.

Deputy Chief of Defence Staff, Air Marshal Richard Knighton said: "I'm delighted to hear of the RCO contract with AERALIS. 

"This private aircraft company is adopting an innovative approach that I have not seen before in the combat air sector."

Cover image: AERALIS.