VoltAero reveals production-version of Cassio hybrid-electric aircraft

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VoltAero has shown the production configuration for its Cassio aircraft hybrid-electric aircraft for the first time.

Cassio uses VoltAero’s hybrid-electric power module in an aft fuselage pusher configuration, integrating a cluster of electric motors with a high-performance internal combustion engine that serves as the range extender.

The powertrain is being validated on VoltAero’s Cassio 1 flight test aircraft before it is certified for production.

Jean Botti, VoltAero’s CEO and chief technical officer said, “The Cassio production design’s unveiling represents the latest step in our realistic and highly pragmatic creation of an all-new aircraft family.

“It benefits from our team’s unmatched experience in hybrid-electric aviation, as well as the ongoing full-scale flight testing that removes the risk as we move toward the production phase.”

The Cassio’s design is based on an aerodynamically-optimized fuselage, a forward fixed canard, and an aft-set wing with twin booms that support a high-set horizontal tail.

Cassio will be offered in three versions, each sharing a high degree of modularity and commonality:

  • Cassio 330, a four-seat configuration with propulsion from a combined hybrid-electric power of 330 kilowatts;
  • Cassio 480, configured with six seats and a hybrid-electric propulsion power of 480 kilowatts;
  • Cassio 600, with a 10-seat capacity and hybrid-electric propulsion power of 600 kilowatts.

The aircraft will be produced at a purpose-built final assembly line in the Nouvelle Aquitaine region of southwest France. Licensed production opportunities will be pursued in North America and Asia, said VoltAero.

Initial deliveries are targeted for the end of 2022, beginning with the four-seat Cassio 330 version.

The Cassio aircraft is aimed at private owners, air taxi/charter companies, in commercial flights for point-to-point regional travel, and in various utility-category applications. VoltAero plans to certify the aircraft to Europe’s EASA CS23 certification specification as a single-engine, general aviation category aircraft.

Performance

  • Autonomy: 3.5 hours (extension possible to 5 hours)
  • Range: 800 miles
  • Cruise speed: 200 knots
  • Take-off/landing distance: less than 1,800 feet
  • Maximum takeoff weight: Under 2.5 metric tons (EASA CS23 certification)
  • Availability: 10 hours/day (equivalent to approximately eight rotations daily)
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Ben has worked all of his career as a journalist and now editor, covering almost all aspects of technology, engineering and industry. In the last 20 years he has written on subjects from nuclear submarines and autonomous cars to future design and manufacturing technologies and commercial aviation. Latterly editor of a leading engineering magazine, he brings an eye for a great story and lots of experience to the team.

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