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VoltAero’s Cassio 2 Hybrid Plane Is Quieter, More Efficient, Greener
Airplanes, for all the convenience they bring in terms of time and distance traveled, and even comfort, are notoriously bad for the environment. Various startups have started looking into electric propulsion as a means to write off the negatives, but few have come as close as VoltAero.

VoltAero’s Cassio 2 Hybrid Plane Is Quieter, More Efficient, Greener

Cassio 2, a hybrid-electric aircraft from VoltAero, will start deliveries in 2022VoltAero Cassio 1Cassio 2, a hybrid-electric aircraft from VoltAero, will start deliveries in 2022
VoltAero is a French aviation startup with a combined 50 years of experience in the field. Even if the name doesn’t ring a bell, they’ve been working on hybrid electric aircraft for a very long time, and the sum of all this experience is the Cassio 2, a new type of business / short-distance aircraft that can seat up to nine passengers.

And the best part is that it will come to market in two years’ time.

The Cassio 2 is the second-generation of the VoltAero’s hybrid electric aircraft, with the company unveiling that it’s working on three base models. The development for Cassio 2 goes back to 2015, when the team made history with E-FAN, the first, all-electric aircraft to cross the English Channel. Cassio 1 was loosely based on a Cessna 377 and used the know-how from the E-FAN experience, while Cassio 2 is the upgraded version.

This hybrid will cruise at speeds of 230 mph (370 kph) and use wing-mounted motors during takeoff and landing, and for short-distance trips (with the possibility of making all-electric trips of 125 miles / 201 km). The internal combustion engine will serve as a range extender: a biofuel Nissan V6 engine developed by Formula E partner Solution F.

VoltAero says Cassio 2 will be able to take up to eight trips a day for a total of 10 hours, with one flight estimated at 3.5 hours or 800 miles / 1,287 km, and the possibility to extend that range to 5 hours.

Jean Botti, founder and CEO of VoltAero, who has previously worked with Airbus and General Motors, believes airframe design is not enough to deliver a more efficient, more sustainable and quieter aircraft.

A hybrid propulsion is not as good as an all-electric one, but it represents the best, most pragmatic way to reduce emissions right now. Which is a very elegant way of saying that a little something is better than nothing at all, but VoltAero is also looking into the possibility of making the Cassio 2 in various configurations, from mild hybrid to all-electric.

As such, Cassio 2 will be quieter, more efficient and greener than similarly-sized aircrafts. Applicability in real life will range from the business sector to the medical one, Botti explains in a statement to The Robb Report.

“Adding sustainability to aviation will be key to its future,” Botti underlines. “Aviation needs to be greener and quieter – and cheaper to operate. That’s what we’re doing with our Cassio models. Now that we’ve proven our hybrid electric powertrain is reliable, we’ll see how it appeals to different categories – from private owners to regional airlines, as well as charter, fleet companies, cargo, delivery services and even Medevac.”


Three models of Cassio 2 will be made: Cassio 330, which will seat four and come with hybrid-electric propulsion power of 330 kilowatts, Cassio 480, which will seat six, and Cassio 600, which will have a ten-seat capacity. The powertrain on Cassio 1 that is currently being tested in France will be the base of Cassio 600, the company says in a press release on May 6.

The first Cassio 2 to hit the market will be the smaller 330, with deliveries tentatively scheduled for the second half of 2022. Cassio 330 will hopefully be the first in a family of efficient, more environmentally-friendly aircraft that will revolutionize the industry. Certification in North America and Asia will be pursued.

“The Cassio production design’s unveiling represents the latest step in our realistic and highly pragmatic creation of an all-new aircraft family,” Botti adds in the same press release. “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.”

press release
 
 
 
 
 

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