The project will investigate configurations for regional aircraft and rotary wing platform (VTOL – Vertical Take-off & Landing) and architecture for the propulsion systems including distributed hybrid/electric technologies to identify the best strategy to use the different on board energy sources. Configuration studies will be supported by trend analysis of the main enabling technologies and their preliminary validation through wind tunnel and lab tests.
The multidisciplinary analysis environment will be extended by developing models adequate to handle distributed propulsion systems and their interaction with aircraft aerodynamics. Various on-board system architectures will be evaluated, and the expected target performance for the technological enablers (e.g. batteries, electric machines, power electronics, etc.) will be identified together with the associated main issues.
The operational flexibility of hybrid / electric propulsion, which promises to streamline infrastructure and to change the current operative scenario, will be analyzed in study on short-distance and in urban areas air transport as part of a strongly connected multi-modal context.
Expected results:

1. Technological requirements necessary for the “electrification” of an “ATR-42 class” aircraft, associated critical issues and sensible roadmap.

2. Innovative configurations for both class ATR-42 and lower class (19 pax) platform.

3. Possible configurations for VTOL platform.

4. Environment for multidisciplinary analysis of hybrid configurations.

PROSIB is the first Italian project that addresses integrated feasibility studies and the deployment of distributed hybrid/electric propulsion technology. It will promote the development of the national ecosystem ready to contribute to the technological development activities envisaged in H2020 and FP9. In the near future it will prepare technicians for centers of excellence dedicated to further technical and industrial developments. In the medium to long term, it will allow the maturation of innovative short-range air transport solutions.