Emergency vehicle maker wins contract to deliver hybrid fire truck to airport

Brighouse-based emergency services specialist, Venari Group, has secured a contract to supply a UK-first hybrid aircraft rescue and firefighting (ARFF) truck to Cranfield Airport, which is owned by Cranfield University.

Following an 18-month phase of market research and a subsequent tender process, Venari has been awarded a contract by Cranfield University to supply a Ziegler Z-Class HybridDrive.

The university is a leader in sustainable aviation research and development and was awarded GBP3m earlier this year to decarbonise airport operations and further develop low-carbon aircraft.

As the only university in Europe with its own airport, alongside aerospace research facilities and experts, Cranfield is harnessing digital and physical technologies to achieve innovation.

The fire truck is an electrified Z-Class, using a hybrid drivetrain, not only for environmental benefits, but to improve critical response times through better vehicle performance.

Venari Group CEO, Oliver North, said: "The 2021 UK Z-Class launch essentially provided the UK aviation firefighting industry with much needed competition at a time when innovation was required.

"The award from Cranfield allows Venari and Ziegler to boost not only Cranfield Airport's decarbonising activity, but the aviation firefighting appliance sector in general. We're very much 'walking the walk' in the direction that airports have requested."

Cranfield became a member of the National Centre for Atmospheric Science (NCAS) in 2020 and has hosted its Facility for Airborne Atmospheric Measurements (FAAM) Airborne Laboratory since 2007.

In September 2020, Cranfield supported ZeroAvia in achieving the world's first hydrogen fuel cell powered flight of a commercial-grade aircraft.

Cranfield Aerospace Solutions and the university are developing a green propulsion system using hydrogen fuel cell technology which can be fitted into aircraft with existing combustion engines.

Rob Abbott, Cranfield Airport director, added: "Cranfield Airport is used for ground-breaking projects in areas such as our Digital Air Traffic Control Centre, the integration of manned and unmanned aircraft and enabling the future of electric and hydrogen flight.

"This contract represents another milestone on our support to the zero carbon aviation agenda."

The new Z-Class HybridDrive will be manufactured at Ziegler's Giengen headquarters and then sent to Venari for finalisation such as stowage fitment, communications instalments and livery. Previous Article

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