Our planet and its atmosphere have long been overloaded. The task of our generation is to offer alternatives to the unrestrained consumption of limited natural resources. APUS has taken on this task in the field of air transportation. Our aim is to make air traffic 100% emission-free and uncompromisingly climate-neutral – with green hydrogen as an energy carrier. For many years, APUS has focused on research how hydrogen can be used safely and economically. All research results and experience from many customer projects or partner cooperations are combined in the APUS i-2 and the APUS i-5 to form hybrid-electric aircraft with hydrogen fuel cells with surprisingly good performance data. Together with our partners PowerCell (Hydrogen Fuel Cell), Fraunhofer (High-Voltage applications), COTESA (hydrogen storage solutions) and HEGGEMANN (hydrogen supply and safety systems) we are developing certified powertrain units for emission-free air transportation applications. In close cooperation with Rolls-Royce we are developing a reliable certification roadmap for hybrid electric powertrains.
APUS i-2 is the first emission-free aircraft for daily use. It is a four-seat normal-category (CS-23) aircraft with 2,200 kg MTOM, a range of 500 NM and a maximum cruise speed of 160 KTAS – competitive performance data comparable to most modern four-seat aircraft.
Employing a hydrogen fuel-cell as its primary source of energy makes APUS i-2 100 % emission-free, i. e. zero CO₂, zero NOx, zero noise – nothing less than a revolution in emission-free flying! This is achieved through APUS’s patented structurally integrated hydrogen storage system.
It permits up to 25 % higher specific energy density compared with standard hydrogen fuel tanks and ten times better energy density than battery-electric aircraft, all while avoiding the use of rare minerals that batteries employ.
The H2 technology is currently not available as commercial of the shelf on the aviation market. Therefore, the technology is derived from other sectors than aeronautics. Initially it is challenging to convert highly featured, complex devices into ones that comply with the highest safety and reliability demands. As much as is required, rather than as much as possible, is now the way to go. Unlike typical implementations in the automotive sector, the fine granular, overall controlled approach is replaced by one with minimal complexity in order to gain reliability.
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By focusing on the highest aerodynamic performance, maximum cargo volume and energy-saving engines, it was possible to develop a cargo platform that is unparalleled in terms of its operating costs and CO2 emissions.
The i-5 “Hydrogen” is powered by four 150 kW electric engines. They are driven by the fuel cell for continuous power and boosted by high power batteries to supply in total 600 kW.
2 x 100 kW hydrogen fuel cells for zero emission level flight.
4 x 150 kW electric motors with low rpm.
High efficient 9 blade propeller for lowest noise emission.
APUS i-5 “Carrier”
Variant A: Cargo Carrier
Variant B: Passenger Carrier
In order to achieve an early market entry, the “Hybrid” power version will be equipped with two SAF engines and two additional electric engines. This combustion-hybrid powertrain is a reasonable bridge technology that does not release any fossil CO2 in the atmosphere and retains all the advantages of classic combustion engines – highest power density and highest energy density.
The engines based on diesel combustion technology are designed as small as possible in order to be able to operate them with the best possible efficiency. They are installed on the inner nacelle positions. Electric motors are installed on the outer nacelle positions, increasing the total output to a comfortable take-off performance to 1,000 hp. When cruising, these are then feathered with very little drag.
APUS i-5 „Multi Mission“
Variant A: Technology Demonstrator
Variant B: ISR-Platform
The APUS i-5 Multi Mission is the first variant of the i-5 family developed together with our long-term partner Rolls-Royce. The main purpose is to use it as a demonstrator for research purposes. Rolls-Royce is using the aircraft in an initial expansion variant to develop its electric and hybrid-electric drives.
At the same time the aircraft is also designed for use as a reconnaissance aircraft. Thanks to its high payload, it can also transport heavy and long-range radar systems and IO / IR sensors. The large wingspan enables the aircraft to fly at high altitudes with the lowest possible energy consumption and thus long flight times.
Winner of “Zukunftspreis Brandenburg 2021″