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Airbus signs up Zephyr technology partner
Zephyr T. © Airbus

Airbus signs up Zephyr technology partner

Airbus and Williams Advanced Engineering are exploring potential areas of technological collaboration, with a particular focus on the unmanned Zephyr HAPS programme.

Airbus and Williams Advanced Engineering, the engineering and technology business of Williams Grand Prix Engineering, are to explore potential areas of technological collaboration.

Under the terms of a newly signed MoU, the two companies will examine in particular applications that may combine Williams’ innovation culture, lightweight composites and battery expertise with Airbus' Zephyr High Altitude Pseudo-Satellite (HAPS) programme.

HAPS is a generic term for platforms that float or fly at high altitude like conventional aircraft but operate more like satellites, remaining in position inside the atmosphere for weeks or even months.

Zephyr is a record-breaking, solar-powered, unmanned aerial system (UAS) with unique communications and surveillance capabilities. It will fly at more than 65,000ft, above commercial air traffic, for months at a time. The first production examples are being manufactured at Farnborough for the UK Ministry of Defence.

As sole battery supplier to the FIA Formula E championship since its inception, Williams Advanced Engineering’s battery technology has been tried and tested, and its world-leading expertise in electrification has become core to the business.

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