“From Electric Cri-Cri (20 kW) and E-Fan (60 kW), we have now reached the power level of 600 kW on Cassio 1,” said VoltAero via the company’s Twitter account Monday, as they celebrated the Channel crossing, after being launched from Calais-Dunkirk Airport, France, at 10:46 GMT (6:46 ET) this morning.
This is the second crossing for the The VoltAero team, using its Cassio 1 demonstrator to fly between the UK and France to participate in the ACE21 Air Charter Expo. Cassio 1 will also visit Cranfield University, which hosts an aerospace technology incubator sponsored by the UK government and a consortium of entities.
In Cranfield, VoltAero and its partner KinectAir will present to teachers and students, before flying to Biggin Hill airport in London, the stage of the ACE21.
VoltAero CEO and CTO Jean Botti will participate in the conference’s Green Charter 2021 panel discussion.
Progress since E-Fan
In 2015, VoltAero participated in the E-Fan project led by Airbus. It was then that the E-Fan demonstrator made the crossing, becoming the first electric aircraft to do so “from end to end”.
Looking back on that flight and comparing it to today’s, the company said, “The E-Fan’s batteries provided 60 kilowatts of power for its two electric motors, while Cassio 1 uses the module 600 kilowatt electric hybrid power supply from VoltAero. On E-Fan’s historic flight in July 2015, the plane took off from Lydd, England and landed in Calais, France.
“Our second Channel crossing with an electric aircraft clearly shows how the VoltAero team has made progress in advancing the Cassio program through its development phase for certification expected in 2023,” Botti said in a pre-released statement. .
Botti also underlined the importance of the stops made on this second trip.
“The stopover at Cranfield University will introduce Cassio to the next generation of engineers, program managers and decision-makers who must lead the future of electric aviation,” he said.
“And our participation in the ACE21 Air Charter Expo allows us to highlight how VoltAero’s Cassio family of aircraft will help redefine commercial air charter services and regional mobility.”
Cassio 1 has traveled over 4,900 km, proving the proprietary hybrid-electric motor, which combines a traditional internal combustion engine with an electric power module to provide the correct power source based on the demands of a given flight .
Designed to cruise at 200 knots and take off at distances of 1,800 feet or less, VoltAero expects its first Cassio version to enter production to be the four-seat Cassio 330, with a combined electric-hybrid power output of 330 kilowatts.
“Deliveries of the Cassio 330 are expected to begin in the second half of 2023, followed by the six-seater Cassio 480 and the 10-seater Cassio 600, using electric-hybrid propulsion of 480 and 600 kilowatts, respectively,” the company said.