Sustainability startup Uplift360 has been selected to assess the circular economic viability of a future net zero aircraft by Babcock as part of the RAFs Rapid Capabilities Office MONET Project award announced 6th April.
Uplift360 is set to analyse the existing fleet of Grob Tutor T.Mk 1s to study the effect of retrofitting a more sustainable drive train. As outlined in the MOD’s Climate Change and Sustainability Approach 2021, the recycling and reuse of materials is key to future UK national security goals. This contract marks an important step toward achieving this goal in aviation.
Not only is it key in achieving environmental goals, it will also reduce dependence on increasingly unreliable supply chains. In 2022, the UK Government announced Project Defend as a response to critical weaknesses in the supply chain, including defence and security. Uplift360’s mission is to recycle high-value materials and find another high-value use for them, rather than use them where other low-value materials would suffice. It is, therefore, well-positioned to meet this pressing need.
Sam Staincliffe, co-founder and CTO of Uplift360 said: “This project is of real importance, both environmentally and in terms of national security. We couldn’t have achieved this without the help of our partner Etsaw Ventures, who have been fantastic. Our contract with Babcock marks a pivotal moment in Uplift360’s journey, and we are stoked to have been chosen for such a strategically important project. The learning from this project will present so many opportunities for the RAF but also in commercial aviation.”
Uplift360 plans to gather data on the current fleet to give an insight into how sustainable the drive train currently is, before creating a model to put net zero alternatives to the test. This model will allow a judgement to be made on which material changes will achieve the net zero aim. The results of this analysis inform sustainability efforts across the RAF fleet.
Retired Lieutenant General Richard Nugee CB CVO CBE Non-Executive Member for the Defence Safety and Environmental Committee and Chairperson for Uplift360 added: “The last few years have demonstrated that sustainability and supply chain resilience need to be at the forefront of every nation’s defence strategy. Recycling and reusing waste increases core resilience and self-sufficiency in defence, and this in turn increases operational capability and reduces cost. Uplift360’s contract is a demonstration of the UK’s commitment to reduce waste and manage the impact of materials’ lifecycles in defence.”
Read more about Uplift360 here.