ENGINEERS from BAE Systems’ Lancashire military aircraft division have teamed up with Formula One experts to design the latest RAF combat fighters.

Already staff from the firm’s Samlesbury and Warton factories work with the Williams Grand Prix team to develop a revolutionary interactive cockpit simulator to experiment with designs for its future combat aircraft initiative.

Now the two hi-tech companies will work together and share expertise across a range of areas including cockpit designs, augmented reality and advanced materials.

The results will be used in both BAE Systems fighter plans and the racing car manufacturer’s latest Formula One vehicles.

Initial collaborations are likely to include work on intuitive cockpit designs for fighter pilots and racing drivers, taking advantage of each organisation’s work in virtual and augmented reality, aerodynamics, lightweight materials, and battery technology that could power solar-powered unmanned air vehicles and the cars of the future.

BAE Systems and Formula One experts will work together on product and technology development, and co-ordinate finance for the new developments.

Opportunities to exploit existing intellectual property.

There will be secondment opportunities for engineers across both companies.

BAE Systems has developed and manufactured fast jets such as the Eurofighter Typhoon and F-35 Lightning.a

Ian Muldowney, the engineering director of BAE Systems Air said: “Working with technology leaders outside of our own industry will help us find new ways of asking questions and think in a different way about the solutions.”

Mike O’Driscoll, chief executive of the Williams Group said: “We are pleased to be joining with BAE Systems in this strategic alliance.”