FVA 30

Our hybrid-electric motor glider

Electric flight from Aachen

Electromobility is one of the greatest challenges of a cross-sectoral energy transition. While the electric car is just about to make its big breakthrough, developments are already emerging for the electrification of aviation. For example, the first commercial flights with hybrid aircraft are to be offered as early as 2030. Another focus is on changing our mobility. "Air taxis" and small electric regional aircraft are intended to meet the growing demand for mobility and, among others, relieve the increasing inner-city traffic in the context of urbanisation in a climate-friendly way. Besides the integration of such novel concepts into our existing infrastructure, however, there are a number of technical hurdles and unanswered questions: Is electric flight really an energy-efficient alternative? For what ranges can such systems be sensibly realised? What are the advantages and disadvantages of electric propulsion? What about noise pollution? Within the framework of the FVA 30 project, we are investigating these questions and developing a research aircraft for this purpose, which is to fulfil a given mission profile with maximum efficiency and low environmental impact. Unlike an electric car, a purely battery-electric drive in an aircraft would be severely limited due to the still too low energy density of the batteries, so we have decided on a hybrid-electric drive concept. This will be integrated into a two-seater motor glider, which with its innovative design will optimally exploit the advantages of the drive concept. In addition to very low emissions, it is also designed for low noise pollution. Furthermore, the suitability of a range extender powered by natural gas will be investigated.

Our vision

From Aachen to Berlin - faster and more efficient than the automobile

"From Aachen to Berlin - faster and more efficient than the automobile" – with this ambitious goal we want to prove the advantages of hybrid flight systems and at the same time demonstrate them in a realistic scenario. In addition to the targeted range and high efficiency, the limited take-off distance of our home airfield Aachen-Merzbrück poses a further challenge, so that we must be able to call up very high performance for a short time. It should be possible to take off in hybrid configuration as well as purely electrically, whereby pure battery operation results in a limited flight duration of 15 minutes under full load at a cruising altitude of 1000m. With a total range of 650 km in hybrid mode, most destinations in Germany and neighbouring countries can be easily reached. A high system reliability is given by the fulfilment of all relevant aviation safety standards.

Our goals

Research carrier

Creation of a research platform for further investigations of innovative energy sources

Range > 650 km

This provides a reasonable radius of action as well as additional security with regard to our Aachen-Berlin mission profile.

Takeoff distance < 500m

The take-off distance is limited by our airfield Aachen-Merzbrück.

Electrification of the powertrain

Integration of the Wing Tip Propulsion System

Cruising speed 155 km/h/p>

The cruising speed is optimized for high efficiency.

Research on future issues

Noise, synthetic fuel, recuperation, fuel cells, operating strategies...

Teams & Technologies

Load calculation & structural design

An automated load calculation tool was developed to estimate the loads in different flight conditions. The aim is to compare the expected loads with other aircraft and configurations under variation of aerodynamic and flight mechanical parameters. Structural loads in different flight phases can be estimated and evaluated already in the preliminary design phase. For the analysis of different manoeuvres on the ground and in the air, a specially developed load calculator is used, which clearly describes the flight situations prescribed by the certification. The structural design is particularly challenging due to the unconventional tail configuration and engine position. The selection and dimensioning of the structure must also take into account the aircraft's centre of gravity position and the integration of powertrain components at all times. Based on the findings of various student theses and considering the expected force distribution, a suitable structural concept is selected and dimensioned for this purpose. The fuselage front section and wings are taken from the e-Genius project.

Fuselage design

In the structural design, the occupancy of the main structure (wing, tail and fuselage) is determined on the basis of the applied forces.

Load calculation

Calculation of all forces acting on the aircraft.

Wing design

Dimensioning loads on the wing include gusts and intercepts.

Project thesis on the design of an engine mount for the FVA 30
Project thesis on the design of an engine mount for the FVA 30

What is the most clever way to combine the progress of one’s own studies with the FVA while still advancing a project as sustainably as possible?

Wing Load Comparison with the e-Genius II
Wing Load Comparison with the e-Genius II

In the last article, a first load comparison between the wings of FVA-30 and e-Genius was carried out.

Finalization of Weight & Balance
Finalization of Weight & Balance

As planned for some time, the creation of a final Weight & Balance could now be completed.

State of development & milestones

Newest articles

Project thesis on the design of an engine mount for the FVA 30
Project thesis on the design of an engine mount for the FVA 30

What is the most clever way to combine the progress of one’s own studies with the FVA while still advancing a project as sustainably as possible?

AERO Friedrichshafen Video
AERO Friedrichshafen Video

At Aero 2022 in Friedrichshafen, Germany, we exhibited part of the FVA30 powertrain test bed. What it’s all about and what important role the Speedgoat Real Time Target machine is playing, FVA 30 project manager Paul explains in the following video.

Aero 2022
Aero 2022

The world’s largest general aviation trade show? Finally open again after a three-year break due to Corona? More than 600 exhibitors and over 30,000 visitors?

Questions? Suggestions? Participate?

Do you have questions about the project, or would you like to join us? Then simply write us an email or meet us at the weekly meeting. It doesn't matter which subject you are studying or which semester you are in. We are always looking for motivated team members who are committed to advancing our project independently. With us, you will gain exclusive insights into aircraft development and can already gather experience in aviation alongside your studies. We look forward to meeting you!

Project management

Valentin Storre

Bettina Budweg Duarte

What we offer you

We give you an insight into the complete aircraft development - from the fuselage to the hybrid-electric drive system. With us, you can expand your theoretical knowledge across disciplines and put your own ideas into practice right away. With our large workshop and the institutes that support us, we offer everything you need. In addition, there are regular workshops for further training with other academic flying clubs (idaflieg), technical university groups (TechAachen) and our industrial partners. However, the FVA is not only concerned with the development of new aircraft concepts - of course we want to be able to take off with them in the end! That's why we also offer students the opportunity to obtain a pilot's licence for their work - in keeping with our motto "Research - Build - Fly".


We would like to thank our partners from industry and academia!