VoltAero has unveiled the first Cassio 330 prototype, electric-hybrid aircraft which combines a “clean-sheet airframe design with a proprietary hybrid propulsion system” at the Paris Air Show.
According to the press release “The no. 1 Cassio 330 prototype is targeted to perform its maiden flight in late 2023. This aircraft will be used to validate the overall airframe configuration and aerodynamics of VoltAero’s all-new design for Cassio, and will be powered by a four-cylinder Kawasaki Motors thermal engine derived from the Japanese company’s proven motorcycle engine products.
“It will be followed by the no. 2 Cassio 330’s maiden flight in the second quarter of 2024. This aircraft will be used for the airworthiness certification program, and is to be equipped with VoltAero’s full-up hybrid propulsion unit – composed of the four-cylinder Kawasaki Motors thermal engine (with a peak power rating of 165 kW) and a Safran ENGINeUSTM smart electric motor (with a peak power rating of 180 kW).
“The VoltAero propulsion concept is unique: Cassio aircraft will utilise an electric motor in the aft fuselage-mounted hybrid propulsion unit for all-electric power during taxi, takeoff, primary flight (if the distance travelled is less than 150 km.), and landing. The hybrid feature – with an internal combustion engine – comes into play as a range extender, recharging the batteries while in flight. Additionally, this hybrid element serves as a backup in the event of a problem with the electric propulsion, ensuring true fail-safe functionality. VoltAero is also pursuing the application of sustainable fuels for Cassio’s hybrid propulsion unit, including biofuel and hydrogen.”
VoltAero says it will assemble the Cassio aircraft in a purpose-built facility at the Rochefort Charente-Maritime Airport in France’s Nouvelle-Aquitaine region.
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