French aircraft manufacturer VoltAero has announced a new configuration for production versions of their Cassio hybrid-electric aircraft.
VoltAero said this week that production aircraft would be single-engined pusher with a twin-boom tail and canard. The company has been experimenting with a three-engined version with a hybrid motor in the rear supplying power to two forward-facing electric engines.
“The Cassio production design’s unveiling represents the latest step in our realistic and highly pragmatic creation of an all-new aircraft family,” said Jean Botti, VoltAero’s CEO and Chief Technical Officer.
“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.”
The Cassio will be powered by a cluster of electric motors with an internal combustion engine serving as a range extender. The powertrain currently is being validated on VoltAero’s Cassio 1 flight test aircraft, which is based on a Cessna 337.
VoltAero intends to offer the aircraft in three configurations:
- Cassio 330, a four-seat configuration with propulsion from a combined hybrid-electric power of 330 kilowatts
- Cassio 480, configured with six seats and a hybrid-electric propulsion power of 480 kilowatts
- Cassio 600, with a 10-seat capacity and hybrid-electric propulsion power of 600 kilowatts.
Manufacturing is planned for the Nouvelle Aquitaine region in southern France, but VoltAero has said it will pursue licensed production in the USA and Asia.
The first deliveries of the Cassio 330 are scheduled for the end of 2022.