Pipistrel and the partners of MAHEPA project invited students to work together and find new solutions in hybrid-electric aviation. 

In these days, between 17. and 20. July 2017 a three-day Hackathon is going on in Ajdovščina, as a part of the international European project MAHEPA. The “Aircraft Design Hackathon” connects 20 students from 7 different countries with the goal to prompt the young scientists to research and suggest innovative concepts and ideas in the field of hybrid-electric aviation propulsion.

Igor Perkon, Ph.D., the Pipistrel R&D Program Manager (left) and Ivo Boscarol, the General Manager of Pipistrel, greeted the participants

Tine Tomažič, Ph.D., the director of R&D at Pipistrel, explained some details to the participants

So what is a “Hackathon”?
A hackathon is a sprint-like event in design, programming or engineering, in which computer programmers, graphic designers, project managers, and other experts collaborate intensively to achieve pre-set goals. The word “hackathon” is a blend of words “hack”  (used in the sense of exploratory programming, not as a reference to computer crime) and “marathon”. Hackathons typically last several days, sometimes in a form of continuous effort.

At the “Aircraft Design Hackathon” inter-disciplinary groups of students have been formed under the guidance of expert engineers from different fields of aircraft design. Students are researching various topics and seeking ideas how to develop a new innovative hybrid aircraft which will be safe, comfortable and useful. The students who suggest the best solution will win a paid 3-month internship at Pipistrel in Ajdovščina.

The MAHEPA (Modular Approach to Hybrid-Electric Propulsion Architecture) is a research project aimed at tackling current limitations of electrically powered aircraft by introducing new serial hybrid-electric powertrains. The final result will be a new, modular hybrid-electric propulsion system for aircraft, based on hydrogen or alternative fuels, which will have the potential to be used on larger aircraft. This will enable the development of a new generation of more efficient and environment-friendly aircraft.

Igor Perkon, Ph.D. introduced the project and the goals

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UPDATE: after a day and a half of non-stop working, the eyes start to get dark circles, the eyelids are getting heavier…

…but the morale is still high and the stream of innovative ideas is still strong!