VoltAero announced the launch of a fractional ownership program in Europe on May 18th, opening new sustainable air mobility opportunities with its family of Cassio aircraft powered by the company’s unique electric-parallel hybrid propulsion system.
VoltAero will announce this new opportunity at the European Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition (EBACE) in Geneva, in conjunction with the opening of initial expressions of interest for fractional ownership share positions, beginning with its five-seat Cassio 330 – the first version of VoltAero’s aircraft family to enter production.
Equipped with VoltAero’s proprietary 330-kW electric-parallel hybrid- propulsion system, Cassio 330s are to be positioned at regional and local airports across Europe to meet user demand.
The fractional ownership program is planned to then expand beyond the first model with others: the Cassio 480, configured with six seats and powered by a 480-kilowatt hybrid propulsion system; and the Cassio 600, with a 10-12-seat capacity and 600 kilowatts of hybrid power. All aircraft three versions share a high degree of modularity and commonality.
During the three-day EBACE, which opens May 23 at the Geneva Palexpo convention center, VoltAero’s team will be available on the company’s exhibit for meetings and to sign potential customers for the fractional ownership program (Booth IZ_03).
VoltAero’s proprietary electric-parallel hybrid powertrain has undergone extensive flight evaluations with the company’s Cassio 1 demonstrator aircraft, covering nearly 10,000 kilometers in operations across Europe on typical general aviation and air taxi/charter route segments – thereby de-risking it for airworthiness certification.
With this powertrain integrated in the aft pusher position, Cassio aircraft will utilize the propulsion system’s electric motors for all-electric power during taxi, takeoff, primary flight, and landing. The hybrid aspect – with an internal combustion engine – comes into play as a range extender, recharging the batteries while in flight. Additionally, this hybrid element serves as a backup for the electric propulsion, ensuring true fail-safe functionality.
The Cassio airframe’s design is based on a sleek, aerodynamically optimized fuselage, a forward canard, and an aft-set wing with twin booms that support a high-set horizontal tail. It will be qualified to Europe’s EASA CS23 certification specification as a single-engine, general aviation category aircraft, and is designed from the start for a low cost of ownership.
VoltAero will assemble the Cassio aircraft in a dedicated production facility at Rochefort Airport in France’s Nouvelle-Aquitaine region. Groundbreaking is scheduled during 2022.
Why it’s important: Fractional ownerships are commonplace among private aircraft owners in the world, and with VoltAero’s rollout of this popular option for defraying costs of operation, the aerial mobility space is now making progress toward increasing the flexibility and lowering the barrier to entry for potential owners and/or operators of hybrid electric aircraft.