Zephyr Innovation Programme (ZIP)


The world-record breaking, unmanned, solar-electric, stratospheric aircraft, Airbus Zephyr, was developed as a
High Altitude Pseudo Satellite (HAPS) flying at up to 70kft, carrying payloads that provide services (e.g.
surveillance) to the defence sector. Airbus is developing the next generation of Zephyr to address the
substantially larger civilian markets in remote sensing & internet connectivity services. This requires
improvements in flight performance to expand operations to higher latitudes all year-round, cost reduction &
design for higher volume manufacturing. ZIP will develop key technologies in aerostructures, energy storage &
propulsion to address these challenges ahead of international competition & strengthen the UK supply chain in
time for WRC2020.

Lead Participant

Project Cost

Grant Offer

Airbus Defence And Space Limited, Stevenage £2,400,020 £ 685,926


Productiv Limited, COVENTRY £167,403 £ 116,194
Formtech Composite Limited, Abingdon £1,581,486 £ 764,332
Newcastle University, United Kingdom £636,982 £ 636,982
OXIS Energy Limited, Abingdon, United Kingdom £2,391,633 £ 1,195,817
Cranfield University, United Kingdom £245,135 £ 245,135


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