‘Ground-breaking’ military jet to be built at Aztec West

An aerospace start-up will develop the first fully British-crewed jet since the 1970s at Aztec West, it has been announced. AERALIS has signed a ‘landmark’ deal with the north Bristol business park, where it will open its UK Enterprise Hub in an “extensively refurbished” unit. The military aircraft developer will use the Aztec West site to develop the new jet which it says can be tailored for a “range of military missions”.

AERALIS has a three-year contract with Britain’s Royal Air Force to develop its aircraft as a potential successor to the BAE Systems Plc Hawk – hailed as the world’s most successful and proven military aircraft trainer. The start-up, which has taken a 5,607sq ft unit at Aztec West, is also understood to be discussing opportunities with a number of other air forces. AERALIS says the move to Aztec West further reinforces north Bristol’s reputation as the “prime location for aerospace design and engineering” – with Rolls-Royce and the MoD both nearby as well as Aerospace Bristol.

Also read: Chef cooks 30p meals to show exactly how much nonsense MP is talking According to the company, its new aircraft will be based on a modular system, “enabling the company to deliver a range of configurations for different missions by using common fuselage and avionics while switching engines, wings and mission systems”. The company has completed phase one and phase two development in preparation to develop a pre-production aircraft with first flight targeted within three years.

Jordan Spear, a surveyor at real estate adviser JLL’s Bristol office, which helped broker the deal, said: “This important deal with AERALIS will enable them to continue to develop this ground-breaking new military jet in north Bristol, further reinforcing the area’s reputation as a key location for defence and aerospace companies, with so many already present in the area. “Bristol and the wider region have experienced significantly improved industrial market conditions over the last 18-24 months. This has primarily been driven by a reduced supply of good quality stock, as a result of increased demand, fuelled by the economic recovery from the pandemic.

This letting reiterates the strong occupier sentiment in the market which has allowed for substantial rental growth.” Tom Cater, of real estate advisors Gerald Eve, representing AERALIS, added: “We are delighted to have secured this facility for our client, AERALIS Ltd. The unit provides the space required to expand their research and development at their new Enterprise Hub.

“The fact that we were able to identify the property, negotiate suitable terms incorporating the landlord’s works, so swiftly, was of paramount importance for our client in ensuring that they could meet the tight operational deadline.

The focused approach, with assistance from Gerald Eve’s building surveying team, resulted in our client taking occupation and commencing their fit-out within their required timeline.”