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MAHEPA Electric Drive Unit Completes Pre-Flight Qualification Tests

Modular Approach To Hybrid-Electric Propulsion Architecture (MAHEPA)

We've been keeping an eye on an interesting project for quite some time... an intriguing, if not exotic power system for Pipistrel's curvy four place Panthera and the Taurus G4.

Pipistrel now tells us that the MAHEPA Electric Drive unit, developed by Compact Dynamics with the support of Pipistrel Vertical Solutions, has completed all the qualification tests and is ready to be integrated in the Panthera and Hy4 aircraft. The first flight of MAHEPA novel hybrid-electric aircraft is now one step closer to reality.

The MAHEPA Power Train is a powerful and light-weight Electric Drive unit designed to pave the way to achieving ambitious goals for Clean Aviation towards 2050, set by the European Union with its ‘Green Deal’. Aircraft to be powered by this technological masterpiece, either in single or in modular distributed-electric propulsion powertrain architectures will reportedly enable cleaner, quieter and more sustainable airborne mobility, enabling new market segments and shorter commuting times for European citizens.

The unit is surprisingly small and slender... making its potential adaptation into a number of airframes far easier than bulkier designs. There is an expectation that the MAHEPA Electric Drive unit may be adaptable for use also on future larger commuter class zero-emission hybrid-electric miniliners.

The first aircraft destined to prove these technologies is a hybrid-electric version of the conventional Pipistrel Panthera model, combining an electric drive with an internal combustion engine (i.e. ICEhybrid). The second, a Pipistrel Taurus G4, will combine an electric drive with hydrogen fuel cells (i.e. FC-hybrid). The newly developed hybrid-electric powertrains will lead to much lower emission rates in aviation, and the hydrogen fuel-cell-powered Hy4 could potentially make the dream of zero-emission passenger flights a future reality.




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