Modular Approach to Hybrid-Electric Propulsion Architecture

MAHEPA is a research project aimed to boost research in the field of low emission propulsion technology. Its mission is to open up the potentiality for series production of greener airplanes in order to support European environmental goals in aviation, which require 70% reduction of greenhouse gases until 2050. MAHEPA 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. The main result of MAHEPA project will thus be a novel, modular and scalable hybrid-electric powertrains capable of running on alternative fuels or on hydrogen with zero emissions. However, 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.


The role of our group is to provide attractive digital presentation of the designed airplanes with an emphasis on their propulsion systems. We are thus developing: 1) an augmented reality presentation of the airplanes’ exterior parts and propulsion systems by utilizing the HoloLens AR technology, 2) a realistic 3D presentation of the aircraft cockpit and cabin by utilizing HTC Vive virtual reality headset, and 3) multimedia presentation of the airplanes’ technical data and generally about the MAHEPA project, displayed on a smartphone and interactively controlled through QR codes on a physical model of one of the two developed aircrafts.