French startup VoltAero presents the first prototype of the Cassio 330 hybrid-electric plane

Aircraft for up to five passengers will still be equipped only with a thermal engine supplied by Kawasaki and will fly for the first time at the end of 2023. Hybrid version is planned for 2024

VoltAero is one of the startups focused on sustainable aviation with more advanced projects at the moment. On Sunday, the French company presented the first prototype of the Cassio 330, a hybrid-electric single engine for up to five passengers.

The canard and tail configuration aircraft with twin vertical stabilizers is expected to fly for the first time by the end of this year.

However, the prototype is only equipped with a combustion engine supplied by Kawasaki and which is derived from units used in motorcycles.

Cassio 330 hybrid-electric plane (Ricardo Meier)

VoltAero first wants to validate the aircraft’s aerodynamic and airframe concepts.

The number 2 test aircraft, which will make the maiden flight in 2024, will be the first to receive the hybrid propulsion set, which unites the Kawasaki four-cylinder engine with an electric motor supplied by Safran

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Together, the two engines will generate up to 345 kW of power. Prototype #2 will also debut the Avidyne avionics suite with 14-inch displays and single-pilot configuration.

Cassio 330 hybrid electric plane (Ricardo Meier)

The Cassio 330 is just the first of a family of hybrid-electric aircraft that will also feature the Cassio 480 (six seats) and the Cassio 600, capable of transporting up to 12 people and which will receive a Kawasaki six-cylinder engine.

The Cassio 330 will primarily use the electric unit on flights of up to 150 km while the combustion engine will serve to extend the range on longer routes.

VoltAero did not say which service entry forecast it works with.

Cassio 330 hybrid electric plane (Ricardo Meier)


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