Within the framework of the FutPrInt50 research project coordinated by the University of Stuttgart, an international consortium aims to identify and drive forward technologies that will enable the commercial use of a hybrid-electric aircraft with up to 50 seats by 2035/40.
The background of the project FutPrInt50 (Future Propulsion and Integration towards a hybrid-electric 50-seat regional aircraft): The EU Commission has set the goal that aviation should be climate-neutral by 2050. Within the framework of the Horizon 2020 programme, the EU is funding the project, which is scheduled to run until the end of 2022, with 4.7 million euros.
In this project, researchers from the Institute of Aircraft Construction at the University of Stuttgart and their partners want to work on energy storage, energy recovery and the thermal management of hybrid propulsion systems for aviation. “In addition to the improvement of existing technologies, an open-source tool for the design of new hybrid-electric aircraft is to be developed that will enable the design of such aircraft types,” the university also announced in a communication.
In addition to the open source tool, a roadmap for such a 50-seat hybrid aircraft is also to be developed. The regional aircraft should “exploit synergies between propulsion, aerodynamics and structural design” and exceed the efficiency and environmental friendliness of the current generation of regional aircraft. In addition, a demonstrator for the key technologies is to be created.
In addition to the Stuttgart researchers, the consortium also includes the aircraft manufacturer Embraer, the companies ADSE and EASN as well as other universities and research institutions – for example Cranfield University or TU Delft from the Netherlands, but also some institutes from Russia, such as the Moscow Aviation Institute.
With reporting by Sebastian Schaal, Germany.