MAHEPA Autumn School: Challenges in greener aviation: the hybrid-electric solution

The MAHEPA project provided a well-thought-out steppingstone for future research and development within the Autumn School, organized between 9th and 13th November 2020.

The project consortium envisioned a qualitative transfer of new gained knowledge and the result of the idea was the MAHEPA Autumn School. Among 75 applicants 20 top students from all over the world were selected to participate in a one week of intense lectures, where project partners shared their results, challenges, new findings, and knowledge behind new technologies that made the development of two 4-seater hybrid-electric aircraft possible.

Students were familiarized with operating requirements and conceptual design of hybrid-electric aircraft, technological features and sizing criteria of fuel cell systems, design principles of electrical machines, integration aspects during production of more sustainable aircraft and strategic implementation of hybrid-electric aircraft – from market implementation to ground infrastructure investment plan.

The first three days were finished off with teamwork assignments, where students got a direct insight into the actual work of project consortium. The consortium provided software, procedures and models that were developed during MAHEPA project and enabled students to gain a more practical view of new technologies by solving different but connecting tasks.

Friday, November 13th, 2020, was the final day of the MAHEPA Autumn school, where four student groups presented their results to the consortium and to say the least, the partners were impressed by their out-of-the-box thinking and understanding of hybrid-electric aviation aspects.

The students commonly agreed that although it was an intense week of not only very condensed, but also very novel knowledge, it was an amazing and unique experience, which offered valuable insights into the cooperation of companies and universities following the mutual goal of more sustainable aviation.

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MAHEPA Autumn School video

Results from MAHEPA Autumn School

  • Aircraft conceptual design
  • Component identification and sizing: Fuel cell-battery hybrid powertrain model
  • Assessing airline network connectivity with hybrid aircraft
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Student impressions

The MAHEPA Autumn School was a good dissemination event because of the level of detailed information that has been provided to us. It definitely exceeded my expectations (Dominik Janisch, attendant).

The MAHEPA partners really put a lot of effort into sharing their knowledge and inspiring us about hybrid-electric aviation (Paul Joseph, attendant).

I really liked the diversity of the MAHEPA Autumn School. A holistic approach to the topics from a variety of companies, research centers and universities – the diversity of the speakers was extremely interesting (Niccolo Carlo Martello, attendant).

The MAHEPA Autumn School was not only about learning new technical knowledge, but it was also about making connections with other people, working together, and having new ideas about the future of hybrid-electric aviation (Fabrizio Oliviero, TU Delft).

The MAHEPA Autumn School was a great opportunity for the consortium to see how younger generations of engineers are interested in novel technologies and we had an opportunity to even increase this curiosity in younger generations of engineers (Fabrizio Gaspari, project coordinator).