Ground infrastructure requirements for future hybrid-electric aviation discussed at EHATC 2021

Electric & Hybrid Aerospace Technology Virtual ‘Live’ conference took place on April 20 & 21, 2021 and provided a platform for experts that are working on developing the future of electric and hybrid aircraft technology to discuss important industry developments.

MAHEPA partners were invited to present the results that were developed in scope of the project and are addressing challenges and requirements of the ground infrastructure for hybrid-electric aircraft.

With hybrid-electric aircraft entering the market for short- to medium-range missions, the ground infrastructure at airports must also keep pace with the technology evolution. The studies performed within the European MAHEPA project identified the key enabling aspects to consider for the creation of a comprehensive recharging and refueling infrastructure network to fully enable the widespread uptake of low- and zero-emission air transport.

Potential demand of a micro-feeder / miniliner service compared to an existing ground transportation means was discussed at the conference, showcased on a real case demonstration of two airports with the most generated traffic in regional aviation segment, Milano Bresso and Athens airport.

The novel challenges that were also addressed and are important for future implementaion of hybrid-electric recharging equipment, are mainly:

  • Efficient battery recharging processes
  • Different safety procedures and/or operational constraints
  • Standardization of charging/refueling protocols/procedures
  • High power needs at airports.

Within MAHEPA preliminary analyses were conducted to understand the key aspects of those challenges. The analyses showed that demand estimastion is needed to show benefits of short-haul transportation and that current technology would already make hybrid-electric aviation possible,

Full presentation is available here.