Cranfield Hydrogen aircraft is parked outside the Cranfield Aerospace LTD. hanger.

Press Release: HydrogenOne and Safran invest in Cranfield Aerospace

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Press Release hub banner blue with title in red white and blueHydrogenOne Capital Growth plc (HGEN) and Safran Corporate Ventures are pleased to announce that they have signed definitive agreements for a common investment in Cranfield Aerospace Solutions Ltd (“CAeS”) as part of a more than £10m funding round. 

HGEN is investing a total of £7m in this funding round and Safran Corporate Ventures £3.5m. With this purchase of a minority equity stake, each company has the right to a board seat at CAeS. 

CAeS is an aerospace market leader in the design and manufacture of new aircraft design concepts, complex modifications to existing aircraft and integration of cutting-edge technologies to meet the most challenging issues facing the aerospace industry today. CAeS has refocused the company on Project Fresson, the unlocking of commercial hydrogen-electric propulsion flight. In the early stages, CAeS will focus on CAA (Civil Aviation Authority) certification of the Britten-Norman Islander passenger aircraft using hydrogen fuel cell power. 

In parallel with its investment, Safran will work in partnership with CAeS spanning the area of hydrogen fuel cell powered electric propulsion for aviation. 

Simon Hogan, Chairman of HydrogenOne said, “Today is an important moment for us as the successful decarbonization of flight is an imperative in order to reach ‘net zero’. We believe that Cranfield Aerospace has the team and the strategy to facilitate clean flight through the application of technology and innovation. This deal demonstrates how HydrogenOne is simultaneously unlocking growth value  for investors while contributing to the wider ESG agenda.” 

“This investment and this technological partnership confirm Safran’s strategy in net-zero aviation and contribute to making Safran a competitive player for the development of fuel cells for aircraft,” declared Ghislaine Doukhan, CEO of Safran Power Units 

Paul Hutton, CAeS CEO, commented “We are very excited to welcome our new investors, HydrogenOne and Safran Corporate Ventures, on our journey to achieve the world’s first fully certified zero-emissions passenger-carrying flights. As we prepare for ground and flight testing, this backing by  our investors will enable us to accelerate delivery of our flying demonstrator in 2023 and certified aircraft  in 2025.’’


About Cranfield Aerospace Solutions 

CAeS has 90+ staff and is one of very few aerospace SMEs globally to have both whole aircraft design capability and to hold a range of regulatory approvals for the design and manufacture of modifications to existing aircraft. CAeS is a long-established aircraft company with a client base that has included Boeing, Airbus and Rolls Royce (among others). 

The 9-seat hydrogen fuel cell powered Britten-Norman Islander aircraft will be available from Q1 2025 building on the technology flying demonstrator which has been supported to date by the UK Government through an ATI Grant. 

About HydrogenOne  

HydrogenOne was launched in 2021 with an investment objective to deliver an attractive level of capital growth by investing in a diversified portfolio of hydrogen and complementary hydrogen focussed assets. INEOS Energy is a strategic investor in HydrogenOne. The Company is listed on the London Stock  Exchange’s main market (ticker code: HGEN). The Company’s LEI is 213800PMTT98U879SF45. 

About Safran 

Safran is an international high-technology group, operating in the aviation (propulsion, equipment and interiors), defense and space markets. Its core purpose is to contribute to a safer, more sustainable world, where air transport is more environmentally friendly, comfortable and accessible. Safran has a global presence, with 76,800 employees and sales of 15.3 billion euros in 2021, and holds, alone or in partnership, world or regional leadership positions in its core markets. Safran undertakes research and development programs to maintain the environmental priorities of its R&T and Innovation roadmap. 

Safran is listed on the Euronext Paris stock exchange and is part of the CAC 40 and Euro Stoxx 50 indices. 

Safran Corporate Ventures is Safran’s venture capital arm, tasked with funding innovative technology businesses and startups. Since being founded in April 2015, it has contributed financing to fourteen innovative companies active in sectors related to Safran’s businesses (decarbonizing aircraft industry, Industry 4.0, onboard components, new materials, new services). 


This announcement does not constitute an offer to sell, or the solicitation of an offer to acquire or subscribe for, shares in the Company in any jurisdiction. The distribution of this announcement outside the UK may be restricted by law. No action has been taken by the Company that would permit possession of this announcement in any jurisdiction outside the UK where action for that purpose is required. Persons outside the UK who come into possession of this announcement should inform themselves about the distribution of this announcement in their particular jurisdiction.  

This announcement contains (or may contain) certain forward-looking statements with respect to certain of the Company’s plans and/or the plans of one or more of its investee companies and their respective current goals and expectations relating to their respective future financial condition and performance and which involve a number of risks and uncertainties. The Company cautions readers that no forward 

looking statement is a guarantee of future performance and that actual results could differ materially from those contained in the forward-looking statements. 

Featured image credited to Cranfield Aerospace Solutions