CORDIS - EU research results

H3PS – High Power High Scalability Aircraft Hybrid Powertrain

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - H3PS (H3PS – High Power High Scalability Aircraft Hybrid Powertrain)

Reporting period: 2019-11-01 to 2022-03-31

The H3PS aimed at challenging the General Aviation (GA) and its environmental impact. The main driver behind the H3PS project was to develop a new, greener propulsion system to pioneer one of the aviation industry’s solutions to reduce the environmental impact of air travel. The propulsion system designed and developed within the project is suitable for powering four-seats GA aircraft, a market segment which employs piston-powered engines, where the leading engine manufacturers are providing components whose basic technology, although constantly updated and reliable, is now over 50 years old and, in most cases, still needs lead fuels to operate.
The overall objective of the project was to put the basis for the development, manufacturing and in-flight test of a parallel hybrid powertrain for General Aviation by the involvement of three European GA market leaders: an aircraft manufacturer (TECNAM), an aircraft engines manufacturer (ROTAX) and an electric motors manufacturer (SIEMENS and now Rolls Royce). The H3PS project objective was to fly a GA aircraft with the parallel hybrid powertrain demonstrating the challenging advantages of the configuration but also its high scalability level. “Breakthrough” concept were achieved by demonstrating the feasibility of a power scalability for up to 11 seats airplanes.
The project achieved all the specifc objectives and outcomes of the project:
- the requirement specification and interface definition of the Power Control Unit, generator and inverter and, 3D Digital Mock-up Unit of the hybrid powertrain concept. The results of numerical simulations and physical tests were successful;
- development and discussion on regulatory framework with the issue of the report with the certification approach;
- two physical mock-up units of complete hybrid powertrain; one mock-up unit fully integrated into the dedicated cowling and aircraft weight and balance assessment;
- manufacturing of three units of complete operating ready to test hybrid powerplants;
- powertrain integration test completed successfully on Rotax test bench;
- successful installation and test on a 4-seats aircraft;
- demonstration of power scalability.

For project dissemination, a project website has been designed H3PS website represents an important step in the effective communication and dissemination activities. The website is updated on a regular basis every time the project activities generated communication and dissemination materials, information and results. A project brochure and leaflet have been realised in order to allow disseminate the project achievements during the events.
The objective of H3PS Consortium participation in external events and seminars was to report on the results achieved through the H3PS project. H3PS Consortium had an active role throughtout a series of conferences: these sessions have been an opportunity to be known and heard by representatives from the academic, institutional and industrial worlds. In particular, the coordinator mission was to explain the adopted technology and promote the resulting threefold impact on climate, market and safety of a hybrid powertrain for a General Aviation aircraft.
General Aviation includes over 416,000 aircraft flying worldwide today, ranging from two-seats training aircraft and utility helicopters to intercontinental business jets, of which over 142,000 aircraft are based in Europe and can access over 4,200 airports . GA is the primary arena for most commercial airline pilots.
The main impact of the project will be related to the introduction of a really marketable solution to bring GA in the hybrid vehicles arena. Hybrid solution is today the most realistic intermediate way to step from gasoline operated powerplants to full electric systems offering the same performances, comparable initial acquisition costs and weights but featuring a more-than-acceptable cost saving in operations.
The H3PS project contributes to the main EU challenges in transportation sector, particularly leadership position of its aeronautics industry and reliable and sustainable air transport system. The project allowed broadening the horizons of knowledge in the field of parallel hybrid propulsion systems of GA aircraft. By developing electrical components, including a parallel hybrid drive system for GA segment, the project introduced the advanced technologies for all-electric aircraft and thus stimulating innovation.
H3PS project