VoltAero takes e-aviation to new heights: Cassio aircraft flight testing is underway with Safran’s ENGINeUS™ electric motors
This testing is a major step toward validating the electric and hybrid-electric powertrains for Cassio aircraft. It keeps the company on track in evolving a family of airplanes with four to nine seats, tailored for operation by private owners, air taxi/charter companies, in commercial flights for point-to-point regional travel, and in various utility-category applications.
“I am very pleased with the testing as we accumulate time aloft and open up the aircraft’s flight envelope,” said Jean Botti, VoltAero’s CEO and Chief Technical Officer. “The current test phase is with the powertrain for our six-seat Cassio version, to be followed by validation of the final aerodynamic and powertrain configurations on both the four- and nine-seat Cassio versions.”
The current flight evaluations utilize VoltAero’s Cassio 1 testbed aircraft, with the two ENGINeUSTM 45 electric motors installed in forward-facing positions on the wings. Cassio 1 is piloted by Technical Director Didier Esteyne, operating from VoltAero’s headquarters facility at the Royan-Médis Aérodrome in France.
“Flying on the power of Safran’s ENGINeUSTM motors is truly remarkable, with no vibration and extremely low noise levels,” Esteyne explained. “It confirms that our Cassio aircraft will bring an entirely new experience to aviation.”
In its full-up nine-seat version, the Cassio aircraft will utilize electric motors along with VoltAero’s proprietary aft-facing hybrid power module, which brings together an internal combustion engine and three electric motors. The prototype VoltAero hybrid power module continues its validation on a ground-based rig, preparing for a subsequent integration on the Cassio 1 testbed aircraft.
“Safran is proud to be powering the Cassio 1 aircraft as VoltAero brings a new dimension to electric aviation,” said Hervé Blanc, Executive Vice President & General Manager of the Electrical Systems and Motors Division at Safran Electrical & Power. “We are fully committed to supporting VoltAero throughout the flight test phase and look forward to the company’s future production of Cassio aircraft.”
- See VoltAero’s YouTube channel for a first look at the Cassio 1 flight tests with Safran’s ENGINeUSTM electric motors.
VoltAero is taking electric aircraft to an entirely new level. Benefitting from 10 years of pioneering expertise, the company is developing a truly unique general aviation airplane, Cassio, with a distributed hybrid-electric propulsion system for safe, quiet, efficient and eco-friendly flight. Cassio utilizes a combination of electric motors and an internal combustion engine in a “push-pull” configuration. A flight demonstrator, along with a ground-based “iron bird” system test rig, are validating VoltAero’s hybrid configuration – de-risking it for airworthiness certification and the subsequent application on a new-production airplane to be built using strong, lightweight materials. Website: www.voltaero.aero
Safran is an international high-technology group, operating in the aircraft propulsion and equipment, space and defense markets. Safran has a global presence, with more than 95,000 employees and sales of 24,6 billion euros in 2019. Safran is listed on the Euronext Paris stock exchange, and is part of the CAC 40 and Euro Stoxx 50 indices.
Safran Electrical & Power is one of the world's leaders in aircraft electrical systems. The company is a key player in the equipment electrification & in the electric and hybrid propulsion sector. It has 15,000 employees across 13 different countries.
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