ABOVE: Duxford AvTech will be built on the west side of IWM Duxford

A ‘major new centre for the next generation of sustainable air transport at IWM Duxford’ has been announced in the form of Duxford AvTech, a collaboration between Imperial War Museums and Gonville & Caius College Cambridge.

The 45,000 square metre development (to be built on land adjacent to the existing IWM site) is described by Gonville & Caius as ‘a new advanced technology aviation innovation cluster focusing on low and zero carbon advanced air mobility technologies’. These wide-reaching research incentives include the development of electric, hydrogen and hybrid-powered aircraft, alternative power sources, new materials, and ‘associated technologies and services to shape the next generation of air transport’.

The centre will be located on the west side of IWM Duxford on land owned by the two parties, with IWM confirming that the existing museum and airfield site will continue to operate independently. It will sit adjacent to a new energy-efficient conservation engineering centre, the IWM Lab, first announced in 2023.

Drawing on the aerodrome’s adoption of pioneering technologies over the decades – including Duxford’s No. 19 Squadron being the first to re-equip with the new Supermarine Spitfire in 1938 – “this tradition will be embraced once again as we aim to create an internationally recognised centre of excellence for the research and manufacture of new, low carbon aviation technologies,” explained Caro Howell MBE, Director General of IWM.

A tender for a development partner for Duxford AvTech will be published shortly.

IMAGE: GONVILLE & CAIUS COLLEGE CAMBRIDGE