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About Us

Research, testing and innovation for propulsion, dynamic systems and challenging environments

Airborne Engineering Ltd (AEL) was established in 2001 to design, test, and produce airborne instrumentation. Through our work on developing a low thrust-misalignment solid propellant rocket nozzle for the QinetiQ-1 balloon, we became increasingly involved with rocket engine test and evaluation programmes. In 2009 we moved to our current location at Westcott Venture Park near Aylesbury, the site of the former Rocket Propulsion Establishment. At Westcott we modernised and upgraded the existing infrastructure to create a state of the art propulsion test facility.

In recent years our customer base has grown, and we have provided test services for rocket engines using a variety of solid, liquid, and gaseous propellants. We have designed bespoke test rigs and control systems, tested injector and nozzle geometries, and evaluated the performance of new propellants and materials. Our customers rely on us to deliver successful cutting-edge test programmes on time and on budget.

Alongside commercial test work, we have also undertaken a variety of in-house research programmes, including developing a vertical takeoff vertical landing rocket platform, designing and testing additively manufactured combustion chambers and injectors, and testing novel materials and coatings for propulsion applications.

Our in-house expertise in electronic instrumentation, control systems, and software gives us the competitive edge in providing fast turnaround, complete testing solutions to our customers - from initial specification of sensors through to automated data reduction and analysis post-firing. This unique combination of capabilities has allowed us to grow from strength to strength, leading to AEL now being one of the UK's key propulsion research facilities, and one of the key providers in the UK's space propulsion supply chain.

Download our Company Brochure (PDF, 1.7MB)