Within the framework of their joint agreement, the two companies will focus on developing an ecosystem that fosters the emergence of hybrid-electric aviation – particularly for short- and medium-haul air services.
VoltAero will supply the Cassio aircraft, while Edeis is to provide resources that include airport infrastructure, airspace support services and customer interface. To establish a comprehensive hybrid-electric aviation ecosystem, their joint vision also includes encouraging the creation of associated distribution centers, training schools and MRO (maintenance, repair and overhaul) facilities – benefitting from Edeis’ infrastructure expertise.
“Our relationship with Edeis marks another step toward VoltAero’s goal of making sustainable air transportation a vital lifeline for the thousands of regions worldwide that require short- and medium-haul air services, but which have been progressively abandoned by the airlines,” said Jean Botti, VoltAero’s CEO and Chief Technology Officer.
VoltAero is developing the family of four- to 10-seat Cassio airplanes that are powered by the company’s proprietary hybrid-electric power module. Based at the Royan-Médis Airport in southwestern France, VoltAero is targeting to deliver Cassio production aircraft beginning in late 2022.
An aviation first: the Cassio 1 flight test aircraft’s hybrid-electric tour of France
To underscore the promise of hybrid-electric air services for regional air links, VoltAero and Edeis have organized a cross-country demonstration tour in France using VoltAero’s Cassio 1 flight test aircraft, which is to visit 11 destinations.
Planned for October 26-31 (weather permitting), this first-ever travel circuit of its type will depart from Vannes in the Brittany region, and is to involve stopovers at airports serving the cities of Tours, Le Havre, the Paris region (Toussus-le-Noble), Troyes, Dijon, Annecy, Aix, Nîmes and Toulouse, concluding with Cassio 1’s arrival at Angoulême.
Guided inspections of Cassio 1 and on-site briefings are to be performed at each destination, providing a first-hand look at how Cassio hybrid-electric aircraft can bring clean, quiet and efficient air mobility to regional airports. Attendees invited for the stopovers include elected officials, business leaders, air service providers, airport operators and other key players in transportation infrastructure.
For the upcoming tour with VoltAero’s Cassio 1 airplane, Edeis will provide logistics assistance during the six-day trip, with landings to be made at nine of the 19 airports managed in France by this company, which is headquartered at Ivry-sur-Seine in the Paris region.
“The tour will highlight how French aviation and transportation players can bring their innovation to meet the growing challenges faced in regional mobility,” explained Olivier Galzi, the Managing Director of Edeis. “Maintaining appropriate levels of air service is more crucial than ever for small- and medium-sized companies, especially those who suffer from the decreasing operations of scheduled airlines. With Cassio, regional service can be assured, while also providing the benefits of low-noise operations at airports and reduced CO2 emissions that come with hybrid-electric aviation.”
The Cassio 1 aircraft to be utilized on this cross-country French tour serves as VoltAero’s flying testbed in validating technologies for its production airplane versions.
At the heart of VoltAero’s innovation is the company’s proprietary hybrid-electric power module, which combines electric motors and internal combustion engines. With these multiple sources of energy, Cassio will ensure highly safe and efficient operations by utilizing one source of power (electrical or mechanical) – or both – depending on the flight scenario. In a typical trip, the module’s electrical motors would be used for nearly-silent takeoffs and landings, with the internal combustion engine serving as a range extender once Cassio is airborne.
Production Cassio aircraft will have a power module with propulsive power ranging from 330 to 600 kilowatts, corresponding to the four-, six- and 10-seat versions. The Cassio 1 flight test aircraft is equipped with VoltAero’s power module in its full-up 600-kilowatt version.