Pipistrel has been in talks with University of Stuttgart's Institut fur Flugzeugbau (IFB - Institute of Aircraft Design) for a long time. With the introduction of Taurus Electro, World's first electric powered self launching two seater aircraft the communication between team Pipistrel and team IFB intensified. On 27 February, 2008, when prof. Rudolf Voit-Nitschmann, who is the father of the solar powered aircraft Icare 2 and the unofficial World Record holder for distance flown in a solar powered aircraft. Along him were visiting also dipl. ing. Steffen Geinitz and dipl. ing. Len Schumann and all were very impressed by Pipistrel's philosophy of preserving the environment and the rational way energy is being used at the company headquarters in Ajdovscina. The basis for the partnership on the project was agreed during the visit.
We are proud to announce that Pipistrel will be a major partner in the Hydrogenious project with the target of constructing the composite structures of the aircraft. The base for the Hydrogenius aircraft will be Pipistrel's Taurus. The side-by-side cockpit and low-drag fuselage will allow modifications to mount all fuel cell systems and hydrogen reservoir.
Once the structures are ready, IFB will integrate the advance hydrogen fuel cell system into the aircraft and ready the Hydrogenius for flying. At this point we are anticipating the official contract for project partnership to be signed with both parties.
About the Hydrogenius
The challenge of the Hydrogenius is to integrate the fuel-cell propulsion system in combination with an electric motor into a super-light-weight all composite airframe. The aircraft is to be built according to EASA CS-22 standards, hence the MTOM is limited to 850 kgs. Using state-of-the-art composite technologies the target weight for the airframe is only 310 kgs.
3-view of the aircraft:
Note the large wingspan, wide fuselage and tail mounted electric engine. All the propulsion systems are focused around the central part of the fuselage:
1 - Hydrogen tank
2 - Radiator
3 - Stack Module (Hydrogen Fuel Cell)
4 - System Module (Hydrogen Fuel Cell)
5 - Power Distribution Unit
6 - LiPoly Battery to start the fuel cell system
7 - Total Rescue System
Developing the Hydrogenius will present major challenges and finding solutions to problems never encountered before. Despite all this, both teams are determined to produce a completely safe, utmost efficient and successful aircraft.
Both parties are satisfied with the way where the discussions are leading and look forward to a tighter and fruitful collaboration also on other projects between the University of Stuttgart and Pipistrel's new Scientific Institute for Aircraft Design & Applicable Technologies. Stay tuned!