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.