VoltAero Cassio hybrid-electric aircraft to pass 10,000km milestone


VoltAero’s Cassio 1 hybrid-electric aircraft is set to surpass 10,000km flown this week.

The milestone will be achieved as it flies to Germany’s AERO Friedrichshafen general aviation show.

Cassio 1 is equipped with the 600-kilowatt parallel hybrid-electric propulsion system that VoltAero plans to use in its family of four-to-12-seat Cassio aircraft.

VoltAero plans to begin delivering hybrid-electric Cassio aircraft to customers by the end of 2023.

The Cassio 1 testbed aircraft will achieve 10,000km (6,200 miles) today during the 1,650km (1,025 mile) flight between VoltAero’s Royan-Médis headquarters on France’s Atlantic Coast to AERO Friedrichshafen, where it is being exhibited on Stand A7-101.

The demonstrator aircraft is a modified Cessna 337 Skymaster, which was chosen for the airframe’s adaptability to Cassio’s “push-pull” propulsion concept.

VoltAero’s electric-hybrid powertrain is installed in the aft pusher position. The aircraft also uses two wing-mounted ENGINeUS 45 electric motors supplied by Safran, operated in the forward-facing “puller” position.

Cassio aircraft will use the propulsion system’s electric motors for all-electric power during taxi, takeoff, primary flight, and landing. The internal combustion engine kicks in as a range extender during cruise to recharge the batteries and serves as a backup if there is a problem with the electric propulsion.

Cassio 1 has been flying since 2020 in Europe and the UK, primarily to de-risk the process of airworthiness certification testing. The aircraft also visited a number of local and regional airports in Europe during a tour to highlight the benefits of sustainable air mobility.

VoltAero is targeting commercial flights, air taxi / charter companies, private owners, as well as cargo, postal delivery and medical evacuation with its family of three Cassio aircraft. A four / five seat version will use a 330-kilowatt hybrid propulsion system and be certified first, followed by a six-seat version that will use a 480-kilowatt propulsion system. Finally a 10 / 12 seat version will use a 600-kilowatt propulsion system.

Groundbreaking for the Cassio final assembly line is planned to take place this summer at Rochefort Airport in France’s Nouvelle-Aquitaine region. The company plans to have assembled its first prototype Cassio 330 before the end of this year.

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Ben has worked as a journalist and editor, covering technology, engineering and industry for the last 20 years. Initially writing about subjects from nuclear submarines to autonomous cars to future design and manufacturing technologies, he was editor of a leading UK-based engineering magazine before becoming editor of Aerospace Testing in 2017.

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