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Innovative companies based in the EM3 region lead the way in sustainable aviation

Last updated 15 December 2023
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Picture of LightLand landing gear developed by TISICS

The EM3 region is home to two companies hailed as among the most innovative in the UK aerospace sector.

Farnborough-based TISICS and Ultima Forma, in Bramley near Basingstoke, were among six winners announced at November’s Aerospace Technology and Innovation Awards.

Ultima Forma won the Shaping the Future Award, while TISICS scooped the Innovation Award.

The inaugural awards, took place during the ATI Conference 2023, in Birmingham aimed to highlight innovation, teamwork and collaboration, and contribution to a net-zero future for aviation.

Ultima Forma won its award for developing technology that will be essential for the future adoption of hydrogen as an aircraft fuel. The company’s electroforming processes can manufacture continuous metal structures without joins, allowing the containment of hydrogen in gaseous and liquid forms. It is a manufacturing process with a low-carbon footprint, and enables the engineering of innovative lightweight hydrogen storage and distribution solutions.

TISICS won its award for its LightLand landing gear – the world’s largest metal composite component for civil aircraft.

Made from titanium and aluminium it is 50% lighter than traditional landing gear, reducing carbon emission by 9.6 million tonnes annually, and saving airlines £650,000 in fuel costs per aircraft a year. 

November proved to be a lucrative awards month for TISICS, as it also landed two accolades at the Composites UK’s Industry Awards Dinner

Both of the awards – the Sustainability Award: Net Zero and the Innovation in Composite Materials Award – were also for its LightLand landing gear.

Stephen Kyle-Henney, TISICS Managing Director, said: “I am immensely proud that the world leading development work undertaken by the TISICS team to deliver an ultra-lightweight landing gear component has received three prestigious awards in November.  

"Composites UK recognised TISICS groundbreaking work for its Innovation in Composite Materials as well as the Sustainability Award for its contribution to Net Zero. The Aerospace Technology Institute recognised TISICS achievement with the inaugural ATI Innovation Award, in recognition of the impact lightweight materials have in aviation’s drive for Net Zero flight. TISICS ability to design, make and test a full-size Airbus A330 landing gear component which is 50% lighter than the current part presents a major innovation for aerospace.

"This was possible through the significant collaboration we received from Safran Landing Systems in Gloucester and the funding through an UKRI SBRI contract, we are very grateful for both organisation’s support in enabling this work."

Stephen added: "The amazing team at TISICS were able to design and manufacture parts in just 12 months, one of which was tested to 50% higher strength than the current part and a second which was fitted to an aircraft without modifications, demonstrating the potential for near term flight use. This was achieved as part of TISICS drive to deliver CO2 reduction on current aircraft as soon as possible. These parts alone would save 65,000 tonnes of CO2 each year per plane and over 9 million across landing gear on civil aircraft. This creates a major opportunity for commercial growth and job creation in the region and to deliver Net zero aviation."

EM3 Head of Enterprise & Innovation, Chris Burchell said: “Very many congratulations to everyone at Ultima Forma and TISICS. These are shining examples of the types of innovative companies we have here in the EM3 region.

“Most importantly, both companies are contributing to meeting the government’s Jet Zero Strategy, which is a UK-wide plan for achieving net zero aviation by 2050 and part of an emerging cluster focussed around the decarbonisation of aviation in the region.

It’s ambitious companies like these which we’d very much to encourage to participate in our plans to create a Hampshire and Surrey Jet Zero Task Force.”



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