Drawing a large crowd everyday during show, the H3PS project’s demonstrator airplane located at the front row of A7 hall dedicated to “e-Flight-Expo” was certainly a highlight at AERO 2022. It is jointly developed by Tecnam Aircraft, Rolls-Royce and Rotax’s specialized teams and successfully flew for the first time on 21 December, 2021. The flight was performed by Tecnam’s Chief Experimental Test Pilot Lorenzo De Stefano, with Tecnam, Rolls-Royce and Rotax Teams on the ground. The Permit to Fly was issued by ENAC, the Italian Civil Aviation Authority.
H3PS stands for “High Power High Scalability Aircraft Hybrid Powertrain”. It is a project funded in 2018 under the European Union Horizon 2020 research and innovation program. With H3PS’ success, Tecnam Aircraft and project partners have validated the aircraft’s scalability potential, lower emissions, state of the art power management technology, building a viable launchpad for future green aircraft models.
H3PS is converted from Tecnam P2010 single-engine four-seat airplane. The airplane is normally powered by a 180hp Lycoming IO-360 combustion engine, but the H3PS demonstrator is converted to a 104kW Rotax 915iS engine coupled with a 30kW Rolls-Royce electric motor, totaling 134kW (180hp) powertrain in a fully integrated parallel hybrid configuration. As such, H3PS aircraft is first of its kind of parallel hybrid electric airplane.
Not intended for market purposes, the H3PS demonstrator airplane served as a validation tool and launchpad for Tecnam Aircraft and its project partners, who are now focused on expanding their sustainability efforts. As an EU-funded research project, H3PS has limits of duration and budget and is thus more for research and technology demonstration purposes rather than for commercial use. However, as the participating partners of the project mentioned, the technology and experiences obtained from H3PS will be transferred to other application which are intended for commercial use. Tecnam’s P-Volt is such case.