Blackburn College is developing more eco-friendly ways of powering aircraft vehicles.

A two-year research project will look at ways of converting wasted heat into power, with the college working in partnership with the National Aerospace Technology Programme, which is funding the research.

Students from across the college’s engineering, electrics, plumbing and art and design courses at both FE and HE level will be involved, assisting with designing and making a prototype thermo-electric power source.

“Work on the thermo-electric prototype, fabrication and design will involve students across a number of disciplines,” said Nicola Clayton, the college’s director of business development and external engagement. “This project offers a fantastic collaboration between education and industry which will provide students with knowledge and experience of cutting edge technologies.”

“Current energy technologies for aircraft are constrained to batteries, which are expensive and can pose fire risks,” added the project’s lead, Stavros Kindylides, the managing director of EU Eco Technologies. “Our project aims to replace battery technology, improve the environmental impacts of air travel and create more hybrid-electric aircraft.”

Other project partners include Cranfield University, Innovation Works and Systems, BAE Systems, HIVE Business Network and the Northwest Aerospace Alliance.

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