Carcroft Common agreed as site to build Airlander 10 aircraft

Carcroft Common in Doncaster has been agreed as the site for Hybrid Air Vehicles to build Airlander 10 aircraft at a rate of up to 24 units per year.

Hybrid Air Vehicles

Hybrid Air Vehicles will now work towards a planning application at the 50-hectare site, working with the local community and other stakeholders as part of the planning and preparation process.

In a statement, Tom Grundy, CEO of Hybrid Air Vehicles, said: “Airlander 10 will transform what’s possible for sustainable air travel, and Carcroft Common will deliver the flagship production centre we need to do that. Our vision to rethink clean flight has been met with robust support at every step of the way by City of Doncaster Council and South Yorkshire region. We look forward to working closely with the community as we launch our production programme and progress this extraordinary project.”

Subject to planning approval, Hybrid Air Vehicles will develop new facilities for Airlander 10’s production, testing, and certification operations. It will house new assembly lines for Airlander’s composite-based airframe, propulsion systems, and electrical and avionics systems.

In partnership with the City of Doncaster Council, Hybrid Air Vehicles will establish Carcroft Common as a hub for advanced manufacturing and sustainable aviation in South Yorkshire, creating over 1,200 new jobs. Hybrid Air Vehicles will also work with regional partners including the University of Sheffield’s Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre, and the Doncaster UTC.

The announcement marks progress toward the City of Doncaster’s Economic Strategy 2030, and the success of the South Yorkshire Investment Zone, the UK’s first Advanced Manufacturing Investment Zone that Carcroft Common is part of.

In February 2024, the City of Doncaster Council and South Yorkshire Mayoral Combined Authority published plans for South Yorkshire Airport City, re-opening Doncaster Sheffield Airport alongside a focus on new green advanced manufacturing and sustainable industrial innovation, including Hybrid Air Vehicles investment into Carcroft Common.

“The City of Doncaster is at the forefront of embracing new technology to drive growth and this proposed Hybrid Air Vehicles site is not only part of our ambitious growth strategy but also our pioneering climate change ambitions, focussing on new green advanced manufacturing and sustainable industrial innovation,” said Ros Jones CBE, mayor of Doncaster. “The Heads of Terms agreed are the culmination of years’ worth of lobbying, planning and collaboration that I am incredibly pleased to see coming to fruition.”

Airlander 10 is a new type of ultra-low emissions aircraft capable of carrying 100 passengers, or ten tonnes of payload.

The aircraft’s base configuration uses four combustion engines that deliver up to 75 per cent reduction in emissions over comparable aircraft. A further emissions reduction is expected from 2028 when two electric motors are introduced to create a hybrid-electric configuration. Hybrid Air Vehicles anticipates Airlander 10 to be fully electric ‘in time’.

The orderbook for Airlander 10 exceeds £1bn, with the first aircraft set to enter service from 2028.