The FMSlab (Flight Mechanics and Flight Systems Laboratory) research group of the Dept. of Aerospace Science and Technology of Politecnico di Milano, coordinated by Lorenzo Trainelli, is involved in the analysis and design of innovative aircraft within the EU-funded projects MAHEPA (www.mahepa.eu) and UNIFIER19 (www.unifier19.eu), both concerning electric aircraft developments.
MAHEPA (Modular Approach to Hybrid-Electric Propulsion Architecture) represents a major attempt to push habilitating technologies for hybrid-electric (HE) aircraft, with the advancement to TRL6 of two HE airplane models: the Pipistrel Panthera Hybrid, a four-seater featuring a reciprocating engine for electric power generation, and the Hy4, a new incarnation of the award-winning Pipistrel Taurus G4 twin-fuselage motor glider, driven by batteries and hydrogen fuel cells. The corresponding powertrains have been designed, developed, and integrated on board, and the two aircraft are ready to be thoroughly flighttested, starting in Spring 2020. The FMSlab is involved in flight testing and flight-data-based modelling, as well as in the investigation of HE aircraft design methodologies, powertrain model scalability, and environmental impact prediction.
Furthermore, FMSlab is responsible for a visionary study on the implementation of HE architectures towards a future systemic implementation from General Aviation to regional air transportation.