MAI is a Member of the IMOTHEP Global Hybrid Electric Propulsion Project

7 February 2020

MAI is a Member of the IMOTHEP Global Hybrid Electric Propulsion Project
On January 20-22, 2020, a European Commission meeting was held in Brussels, dedicated to the launch of the IMOTHEP (Investigation and Maturation of Technologies for Hybrid Electric Propulsion) project, an ambitious research initiative, which is funded by the European Commission under Horizon 2020. The project arose due to the cooperation of Moscow Aviation Institute (National Research University) with aviation research and industry partners.

The meeting was attended by MAI Vice-rector for scientific affairs, Head of Department 203 "Engine Design" Yury Aleksandrovich Ravikovich and Senior Researcher, Associate Professor of the Department 310 "Electrical Power, Electromechanical and Biotechnical Systems" Nikolai Sergeyevich Ivanov. They presented the MAI development in the field of hybrid electric propulsion to the European Commission.

The ultimate goal of the project is to achieve a key step in assessing the potential of hybrid electric propulsion for reducing the emissions of commercial aviation. As part of the project, the European Industrial and Academic Consortium will develop a roadmap for a potential hybrid electric engine for commercial aircraft. 

Under the leadership of ONERA, the French aerospace research lab, a consortium of thirty-three key aviation industry and research stakeholders is engaging in an ambitious research project. In addition to MAI, IMOTHEP collaborates with four other Russian organizations, including Central Institute of Aviation Motors (CIAM) and Central Aerohydrodynamic Institute (TsAGI). The project involves Airbus and Leonardo, Safran, GE Aviation, MTU, ITP and GKN, as well as research organizations and universities in Belgium, Germany, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Romania, the United Kingdom, France and Sweden.

IMOTHEP will perform an in-depth investigation of electric technologies for hybrid electric aircraft in close connexion with advanced aircraft configurations design and innovative propulsion architectures taking advantages of synergies between propulsion and airframe. Analysing potential technologies and technical issues at the relevant scale is fundamental for hybrid electric propulsion and addressing the challenge of climate change requires exploring the technology for commercial aircraft that represents the bulk of current airlines' fleets and aviation’s emissions. This is the central focus of IMOTHEP.

It is worth noting that issues of unconventional configuration for "super-efficient" aircraft are actively studied by European scientists and industrialists. So, in the Clean Sky 2 program, an ONERA-led group of the German Aerospace Center (DLR), the Netherlands Aerospace Centre (NLR) and the British Rolls-Royce concern is already operating, which is considering new “radical” projects for aircraft in the Airbus A320 niche, which could replace the current one around 2035.

ONERA, in particular, has a working research configuration of Dragon, an airplane with a distributed turboelectric engine. The scheme consists of two turboshaft engines in the tail element of the fuselage, leading four generators, from which 40 electric fans (20 on each side) are powered. According to the lab's preliminary estimates, with “moderate technological assumptions,” the Dragon configuration could reduce fuel consumption by 7% compared to the equivalent turbofan aircraft of the technical generation expected in 2035. With “aggressive technological assumptions”, the  benefit increases to 16%.

IMOTHEP Press Release (PDF)
PR Department

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