The Modular Approach to Hybrid-Electric Propulsion Architecture (MAHEPA project) is developing the enabling propulsion technology for future small and regional passenger airplanes, capable of exploiting the existing small local airports to provide micro-feeder service to larger hubs and eliminating gaseous emission impact on surrounding communities. 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. Flight testing of developed components will provide useful data about benefits and challenges of hybrid electric
aviation paving the way towards the year 2050 emission reduction scenarios. The project aims to boost research in the field of low emission propulsion technology to open up the potentiality 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 potential investors.
Advancing the fuel-driven serial hybrid-electric powertrain
which uses a lightweight internal combustion engine (ICE), capable of running multiple fuels as the power generation module.
Advancing the reliability of zero-emission serial hybrid-electric powertrain
which uses a Proton Exchange Membrane (PEM) Hydrogen Fuel Cell (FC) as the power generation module.
Advancing new airborne qualified, lightweight, high-power density components
such as a 200 kW+ electric motor, a 100 kW+ generator and improved power electronics using Silicon Carbide (SiC) technology to increase efficiency of power transmission due to decreased switching losses.
Developing “common building blocks” solutions
also for different aircraft configurations, enabling the proliferation of powertrain modules between various aircraft.
Gathering, analysing and comparing in-flight performance and emission data
in order to quantify the advantages and limitations of the hydro-carbon fuel-driven and zero-emission power generation modules.