Williams Advanced Engineering and Airbus signed a Memorandum of Understanding in late 2017 to work together to bring Formula One and Formula E-inspired technology and innovation to aerospace.
The project will focus on the ways in which ultra-lightweight materials, battery technologies and electrical cell chemistries can be integrated into Airbus’ Zephyr High Altitude Pseudo-Satellite (HAPS) programme.
Zephyr is a record-breaking, solar-powered, unmanned aerial system (UAS), with unique communications and surveillance capabilities. The first production examples are being manufactured at Farnborough for the UK Ministry of Defence, who will fly it for months at a time at over 65,000 ft, above commercial air traffic.
With four decades experience in motor racing, where lightweight materials and structures are crucial to speed and safety, Williams is now developing these technologies and finding innovative solutions to weight saving across all sectors of industry. Recent developments include using recycled carbon fibre to manufacture components that can be 40 per cent lighter than current alternatives at comparable cost.