VoltAero Unveils Production Version of Hybrid-Electric Cassio

 - May 8, 2020, 9:37 AM
VoltAero intends to offer three variants for its Cassio hybrid-electric aircraft. They include the the four-seat Cassio 330 with a combined hybrid-electric power rating of 330 kW, the six-seat Cassio 480 (480 kW), and the 10-seat Cassio 600 (600 kW). (Photo: VoltAero)

VoltAero this week revealed the production configuration for its Cassio hybrid-electric aircraft. The French company started flight testing the fixed-wing design in early March and plans to achieve type certification under EASA’s CS-23 rules in time for deliveries to begin by the end of 2022.

On May 6, VoltAero announced that it intends to offer three variants of the single pusherprop aircraft, featuring a distinctive aft main wing and tail boom, as well as a canard configuration. These will include the four-seat Cassio 330 with a combined hybrid-electric power rating of 330 kW, the six-seat Cassio 480 (480 kW), and the 10-seat Cassio 600 (600 kW).

Intended for a variety of business and general aviation applications, including air taxi, the Cassio family will offer range of up to 920 nm and 200-knot cruise speed. Takeoff and landing distance is projected to be less than 1,800 feet and VoltAero says the aircraft will be able to operate for up to 10 hours each day, allowing multiple rotations. Max takeoff weight will be below 2.5 tonnes (5,511 pounds) to comply with CS-23 requirements.

The hub of the Cassio’s proprietary propulsion system is an internal combustion engine that drives three 60-kW electric motors. In standard operations, the electric motors would be used for takeoff and landings (partly to reduce noise), with the engine extending range.

VoltAero is testing this power combination in an early prototype, the Cassio 1, which is loosely based on the Cessna 337 Skymaster. The production aircraft will not include this prototype’s two forward-facing sets of propellers and or the forward high wing.

The company intends to produce the all-composite aircraft in a purpose-built final assembly line in the Nouvelle Aquitaine region of southwest France. It will also seek partners for licensed production in North America and Asia.

VoltAero was founded by former Airbus chief technology officer Jean Botti, who led the European aerospace group’s E-Fan X electric aircraft development program.

This story comes from FutureFlight.aero resource developed by AIN to provide objective, independent coverage, and analysis of new aviation technology, including electric aircraft developments.