14 September 2021
+VIDEO The hybrid-electric Cessna-based VoltAero Cassio aircraft is in the UK.
The aircraft flew across the English Channel yesterday to Cranfield where it was shown to university students, and then down to London Biggin Hill Airport for today’s Air Charter Expo.
The Cassio flew from Calais-Dunkerque Airport to Cransfield, covering the 126nm in 1hr 14min. It was flown by Technical Director & lead test pilot Didier Esteyne and fellow test pilot Christian Briand.
During its mid-day Cranfield stopover, Cassio was available for inspection by faculty and students at this renowned university. Briefings also were provided by VoltAero and its partner KinectAir, which operates on-demand flight services driven by artificial intelligence and an advanced smartphone application.
Video of VoltAero’s Cassio at Cranfield
At the ACE21 Air Charter Expo, VoltAero CEO & Chief Technology Officer Jean Botti is taking part in the conference’s Green Charter 2021 panel discussion.
VoltAero made much of the fact that Cassio’s trip from France to the U.K. comes six years after the world’s first end-to-end English Channel crossing with an electric airplane, the Airbus E-Fan aircraft, which was also flown by Didier Esteyne in a project led by Botti. The pair left shortly after to setup VoltAero.
The E-Fan’s batteries delivered 60 kilowatts of power for its two electric motors, while Cassio 1 has VoltAero’s 600-kilowatt electric-hybrid power module.
The module’s electric motors enable Cassio to perform nearly-silent takeoffs and landings, while the internal combustion engine serves as a range extender by recharging batteries once Cassio is airborne, as well as providing a secondary source of propulsion and for backup.
VoltAero’s first Cassio aircraft version to enter production will be the four-seat Cassio 330, with a combined electric-hybrid power of 330 kilowatts. Cassio 330 deliveries are expected to begin in the second half of 2023, followed by the six-seat Cassio 480 and the 10-seat Cassio 600.