Friday, 26 May 2017

MAHEPA: Environmentally friendly hybrid-electric airplanes

Source: "The future of air transport is going to be greener – MAHEPA opens doors for environmentally friendly hybrid-electric airplanes", PIPISTREL, 19th May 2017

MAHEPA is aiming to improve propulsion efficiency, addressing climate changes, pollution, noise and adverse effects of air transport by introducing new powertrains solutions.

On 15th and 16th May 2017 the kick-off meeting for the MAHEPA project was held at Pipistrel’s headquarters at Ajdovscina (Slovenia).

MAHEPA - Modular Approach to Hybrid-Electric Propulsion Architecture – is a research project aimed at tackling current limitations of electrically powered aircraft by introducing new serial hybrid-electric powertrains. The project will develop new components in a modular way to power two four-passenger hybrid electric airplanes scheduled to fly in 2020. The first will be equipped with a hybrid powertrain utilizing an internal combustion engine and the second will be a fuel cell hybrid powered aircraft, showcasing the possibilities for zero-emission long distance flight as concrete example of this innovative propulsion technology. 

The project is led by the aircraft manufacturer Pipistrel, in cooperation with Compact Dynamics, DLR, University of Ulm, H2Fly, Politecnico di Milano, TU Delft and University of Maribor. The project partnership aims to boost research in the field of low emission propulsion technology to open up possibilities for series production of greener airplanes in order to support European environmental goals in aviation. The main result of MAHEPA project will be novel, modular and scalable hybrid-electric powertrains capable of running on alternative fuels or on hydrogen with zero emissions. 

These powertrains are the key technology for future hybrid aircraft enabling economical and environmentally sustainable air travel. Within MAHEPA not only new technologies will be developed, but also regulatory implications, airport infrastructure requirements, airspace procedural practices, operational safety, operating costs and emission models will be studied resulting in a unique outlook for regulators, aviation industry, operators and investors. 

The first public presentation of the MAHEPA project will be at the Paris Air Show between 19th and 25th June 2017.

Ivo Boscarol, CEO of PIPISTREL, says:

“Hybrid-electric propulsion will change the way we travel. Pipistrel flew the world’s first two seat electric aircraft more almost exactly ten years ago. Since, battery performance has more than doubled, but the near future long-range flight will be enabled by a combination of batteries and range extending technologies. In project MAHEPA we are contributing to the development of two different four passenger aircraft which will be thoroughly tested in flight. This alone is a historic milestone, but with the envisioned scalability of hybrid electric propulsion technology we will soon see much larger environmentally friendly aircraft capable of flying 19 or more passengers across practical distances.”

Project MAHEPA, has received funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No. 723368.

For additional info please contact Mrs. Maja Sande:

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