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£3m programme will help more-electric aircraft to lift off

01 March, 2000

£3m programme will help more-electric aircraft to lift off

The British Government has announced plans for a £3m programme to encourage the development of electric systems to replace hydraulics and pneumatics on aircraft.

The four-year More Electric Engine and Wing Systems (MEEAWS) initiative is aimed at reducing aircraft weight and costs, and raising reliability. The new project follows a similar scheme launched in 1997 which has backed six ground-breaking projects that have helped UK companies to catch up with their US rivals in developing electric aircraft components.

Competitiveness minister Alan Johnson says that more research is needed "to refine existing technology and to develop new electric systems so that hydraulics can be made obsolete". Technologies that the Government hopes to back include shaft-mounted electrical machines and active magnetic bearings.

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