VoltAero’s Cassio 1 test-bed will reach 10,000 kilometres flown thanks to the aircraft’s upcoming participation at the AERO Friedrichshafen general aviation exhibition in Germany.

The model is equipped with a 600-kilowatt electric-hybrid propulsion unit, developed for the Cassio family of aircraft and patented by the manufacturer. The company plans to produce three variants: the Cassio 330, Cassio 480 and Cassio 600.

On April 25th, the Cassio 1 prototype took off from the company’s headquarters in Royan-Médis, France. It flew some 1,650 kilometres to Friedrichshafen, in southern Germany, where it will take part in the event, which starts today.

Sustainability will be a central topic at the display, which runs until April 30th. Hall A7 will house the e-flight-expo, the section dedicated to sustainable aviation. The VoltAero product and other innovations in electric propulsion will be on display. In addition, there will be exhibitors related to alternative fuel production and efficient manufacturing technologies.

This year, the show celebrates its 30th anniversary. It is one of the world’s leading general aviation events. It began with exhibitors of gliders and motorsport enthusiasts. In 1995 the business aviation segment was added and in 2002 the show moved to the local airport, giving a strong impetus to its development.

Since VoltAero started flights with the propulsion unit in 2020, the Cassio 1 has flown more than 8,500 kilometres on routes within Europe. The tests enabled it to obtain airworthiness certification. During these validation flights, the aircraft covered short and medium-range routes in a variety of weather conditions.

The electric-hybrid propulsion system developed by VoltAero uses electric motors to provide power during taxiing, take-off, climb and landing. The hybrid element, an internal combustion engine, functions as a range extender. This engine recharges the batteries during the flight and serves as a backup in case of a problem with the electric propulsion.

Cassio family was designed to offer a sustainable and reliable product line for commercial airliners, charter companies, private owners and utility services. It is focused on the regional market.

The production aircraft will be offered in three versions. The first one to be certified is the Cassio 330, which seats four to five people and is powered by a 330-kilowatt electric-hybrid power module. Six-seater Cassio 480 will have a propulsion output of 480 kilowatts. Finally, the Cassio 600 will have a seating capacity of up to ten or twelve passengers and a power output of 600 kilowatts.

VoltAero plans to assemble the Cassio 330 prototype before the end of this year. The production aircraft will be built in a purpose-built final assembly facility at Rochefort airport in Nouvelle Aquitaine region, France. The foundation stone for the industrial plant is scheduled to be laid in the summer of 2022.

See also: CEMEX, Sasol and ENERTRAG join forces to produce SAF from green hydrogen and CO2

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