Embarking on a mission to redefine regional air travel, HERFUSE (Hybrid-Electric Regional Fuselage & Empennages) project, led by Leonardo, commenced its journey on January 1st, 2024. With a timeline spanning over 36 months, this EU-funded initiative under the Clean Aviation Programme holds the promise of transforming how we approach aviation for shorter distances.
HERFUSE aims to design forward-thinking fuselage and empennages tailored for the future Hybrid-Electric Regional aircraft (HER).
The ultimate goal? To significantly slash Green House Gases (GHG) emissions.
By studying the layout, materials, components, manufacturing, and assembly challenges associated with integrating fuselage systems for HER, HERFUSE seeks to enhance weight, durability, aerodynamic efficiency, and operational aspects.
HERFUSE aligns its objectives with supporting the regional aircraft concepts studied in the HERA project, envisioning future regional aircraft operating by mid-2030 over distances less than 500 km. The project aims for a mid-2030 entry into service, targeting a 90% reduction in emissions while adhering to International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) noise rules. Under the HERFUSE initiative, the goals include achieving a substantial 20% reduction in component/assembly weight and seamlessly integrating hybrid-electric propulsion for an 8% overall architecture weight reduction. With a focus on environmental impact, the project aims to integrate fuselage systems for cooperating in the achievement of a remarkable 50% reduction in fuel burn at the HERA project level and a corresponding 50% decrease in GHG emissions. Rigorous ground tests are planned to provide valuable insights and support integration solutions, playing a pivotal role in advancing a regional test aircraft to Technology Readiness Level (TRL) 6 in Phase 2.
The project is supported by the Clean Aviation Joint Undertaking and its members.
Funded by the European Union. Views and opinions expressed are however those of the author(s) only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union or Clean Aviation Joint Undertaking. Neither the European Union nor Clean Aviation JU can be held responsible for them.