The Pipistrel`s Panthera aircraft was described as wildly innovative when first presented to the world, and after years of intensive research and development in the MAHEPA project, the innovation aspect is nearing its peak, resulting in a completely novel and modular hybrid-electric powertrain that will enable a smoother transition to a more sustainable aviation.
The MAHEPA project approached powertrain hybridization challenges through a holistic approach to more sustainable aviation and succeeded in doing so by developing two novel hybrid-electric powertrains and ensuring their possible sizing for upscale commercial aircraft.
The hydrogen powered hybrid-electric Hy4 aircraft already took off for its maiden voyage in November 2020 and will be shortly followed by Panthera aircraft, which has now finished the integration phase and it is about to start the ground tests.
Panthera, here equipped with a hybrid powertrain, is a 4-seater aircraft, capable of quiet all-electric operations, when powered by batteries alone, enabling zero-emission ground taxiing, take-off, climb and landing, which offers clear advantages to populated airport neighbourhoods. The advantage of the hybrid-electric powertrain also becomes clear at higher cruising altitudes, where the fuel consumption is expected to be much lower than with the conventional aircraft.
Did you know that in scope of MAHEPA project the reliability of the entire system was dramatically increased, thus providing safer flight? Simultaneously for the first time ever, the highest achievable level of performance in powertrain components is approaching certifiability according to strictest future aviation standards.