VoltAero announced last week the completion of their first tranche of Series B financing, with Italy-based TESI, who will continue in partnership with VoltAero as a strategic investor and manufacturing partner.
The Series B round includes a €32 million capital raise and VoltAero has shared that these funds will help to cover certification and production launch of the first member in its electric-hybrid aircraft family, the Cassio 330.
TESI (Tecnologie E Servizi Innovativi S.r.l.) was also announced to produce the airframe for VoltAero’s no. 1 Cassio 330 prototype, which is targeted to make its maiden flight in 2023. Cassio 330 is a five-seat version, with a combined electric-hybrid propulsive power of 330 kilowatts.
By integrating VoltAero’s proprietary electric-hybrid propulsion system into the company’s purpose-designed airframe, the Cassio aircraft family is poised to deliver an order of magnitude better performance as compared to the current competition, and provide significant lower operational costs.
TESI will build the Cassio 330 certification prototype airframe at its Cicerale facility in the Campania region of southwestern Italy. The company is specialized in the production and integration of metallic structures and assemblies, as well as mechanical parts – with in-house capabilities from machining and forming to assembly, backed by resources for heat and surface treatment.
Production Cassio airplanes are planned to be manufactured in three versions, each sharing a high degree of modularity and commonality. The family will provide a highly capable and reliable product line for regional commercial operators, air taxi/charter companies, private owners, as well as in utility-category service for cargo, postal delivery and medical evacuation applications.
The Cassio 330 will be the first certified version, with five seats and powered by the 330-kilowatt electric-hybrid propulsion system. VoltAero’s next aircraft to be certified will be the six-seat Cassio 480 which will have an electric-hybrid propulsion power of 480 kilowatts, while the Cassio 600 is sized at a 12-seat capacity with electric-hybrid propulsion power of 600 kilowatts.
Why it’s important: VoltAero’s announcement of this investment is important for the company’s continued certification efforts. As a direct competitor to US-based Ampaire, VoltAero is also working to develop electric regional and short haul commercial aircraft. Key to VoltAero’s future success is the manufacturing resources required to erect an assembly line responsible for large-scale production of the aircraft, as well as the new tooling that’ll be needed to build a first of its kind airframe and powerplant system. Further, certification will be at the forefront of VoltAero’s priorities as they work with EASA and competitor Ampaire works with the FAA marching towards initial revenue operations. Continued monitoring and comparison between these two similar firms will be important as an indicator of OEM and regulatory readiness to deploy electric aircraft into regularly scheduled and charter flight operations.