University of Maribor Participates in a Major International Aviation Project

The University of Maribor, in conjunction with the Pipistrel d.o.o., Compact Dynamics, DLR, H2Fly and TU Delft, the University of Ulm and the Polytechnic University of Milan participates in an international project MAHEPA on the development of ultralight electric aircrafts without emissions.

The first working meeting on the MAHEPA project was held on 15–16 May in the Pipistrel d.o.o. office and was dedicated to improving the effectiveness of aircraft actuation systems. Developed innovative solutions reduce negative impact on the climate, reduce harmful emissions and reduce the noise level.

MAHEPA (Modular Approach to Hybrid-Electric Propulsion Architecture) is a research project aimed at removing existing restrictions in using electric airplanes through introduction of serial hybrid electric transmissions. The modular approach will ensure development of eco-friendly components to control two quadruple hybrid electric passenger aircrafts, the testing of which is scheduled for 2020. The first aircraft will be equipped with a hybrid transmission, wherein an internal combustion engine produces energy. An innovative system of hydrogen fuel cell drives will be embedded into the second aircraft.

The Slovenian manufacturer of advanced ultralight aircrafts Pipistrel d.o.o manages the project. Other participants: the University of Maribor, the University of Ulm (Germany), the Polytechnic University of Milan (Politecnico di Milano Politecnico di Milano, Italy), the Delft University of Technology (Netherlands), Compact Dynamics, DLR, and H2Fly companies. Project objectives meet European environmental standards and transport standards for reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 70% before 2050. MAHEPA is aimed to create a new modular hybrid electric power unit for aircrafts, which will be run on alternative fuel or hydrogen and is suitable for use on large aircrafts.

The implementation of the MAHEPA project would benefit primarily the administrative authorities responsible for the adoption of operation rules, the aviation industry and investors.

The first open presentation of the project will be held as part of the Paris Air Show (on 19–25 June 2017). MAHEPA received financial support by the research and innovation programme EU 2020 Obzorje under the Contract No. 723368.