French Hybrid-Electric Aircraft to Be Powered by Safran’s Smart Electric Motor

The Cassio 330 hybrid-electric aircraft will boast 330 kW of power 7 photos
Photo: VoltAero
Cassio 330 Hybrid-Electric AircraftVoltAero TestingCassio 1 Prototype AircraftCassio 480 Hybrid-Electric AircraftCassio 330 Hybrid-Electric AircraftCassio 480 Hybrid-Electric Aircraft
VoltAero, an aviation startup in France, was founded by Jean Botti, a specialist who had previously worked with Airbus and General Motors. The company’s flagship model is a modular aircraft concept that can go from pure electric propulsion to a heavy-hybrid mode for an extended range.
Back in 2019, VoltAero was conducting the first flights of its Cassio 1testbed aircraft, claiming to be the world’s first parallel hybrid aircraft. This meant that it was equipped with both electric motors and internal combustion engines, which could be used simultaneously or separately.

Therefore, the Cassio concept ranges from a 330 kW version with a smaller range that can operate using only electric propulsion, to a mid-size version of 480 kW, with a “mild hybrid” propulsion, and a heavy-hybrid version capable of regional flights, with 600 kW of power.

From the beginning, the Cassio prototype was powered by Safran’s ENGINeUS smart electric motors. Initially, the aircraft had two ENGINeUS 45 motors installed on its wings. The upcoming Cassio 330, the first version in the future range, will be equipped with the more powerful ENGINeUS 100.

At the Farnborough International Airshow in the UK, VoltAero and Safran signed a purchase agreement for the ENGINeUS 100. In addition to having a maximum rating of more than 150 kW at take-off, this “smart” motor also includes an integrated controller and an advanced air-cooling system. According to Safran, the motor will be integrated together with a 150 kW thermal engine in the Cassio 330 aircraft’s hybrid propulsion unit.

Equipped with Safran’s smart motor, the Cassio 330 prototype will soon kick off ground-based endurance tests, followed by the first flights in 2023. By the middle of 2023, it’s expected that the ENGINeUS 100 electric motor for Cassio 330 will be certified.

The mid-range Cassio 480 will be a six-seater, while the Cassio 600, the most powerful version, will have a ten to 12-seat capacity for regional operations.
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About the author: Otilia Drăgan
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Otilia believes that if it’s eco, green, or groundbreaking, people should know about it (especially if it's got wheels or wings). Working in online media for over five years, she's gained a deeper perspective on how people everywhere can inspire each other.
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