UK aerospace innovation on show in central London

26 October 2011

Posted by Samuel Couratin

Innovative designs from the UK's aerospace industry are on display in the heart of London.

The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills has reported that some of the most advanced machines in the world have been placed on show at its base in Westminster to showcase the sector's contribution to the economy.

Scheduled to last for two weeks, the exhibition is close to the Houses of Parliament and was launched as Prime Minister David Cameron visited a new £400 million plant to manufacture Airbus wings in North Wales in order to open the facility.

Machines on display include a hybrid airship, an experimental unmanned aircraft, a helicopter and models of new passenger aircraft, each highlighting aspects of the £23 billion annual contribution the aerospace field makes to the UK economy.

Launching the show, Mark Prisk, the UK's Business Minister, said: "Britain's aerospace industry is one of our biggest manufacturing success stories. We are the largest aerospace sector in Europe."

Looking forward to 2075, the Institute of Mechanical Engineering has published a new report on the future of flights that predicts the kind of planes that will exist in 64 years' time.

According to the industry organization, innovations such as unmanned aircraft and those that fly using the power of the sun will be in operation over the coming decades.

The body has predicted that the UK could move from being the world's second-largest aerospace manufacturer to first place if the sector receives Government support, but faces growing competition from emerging markets such as China.

It has recommended drawing up a "strategic vision for UK aerospace", creating a dedicated research body and ensuring research and development funding returns to pre-recession highs.

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