VoltAero's prototype Cassio 330 will utilise Safran Electrical & Power's ENGINeUS 100 smart electric motor in its parallel electric-hybrid propulsion system.
The ENGINeUS 100 will have a maximum rating of well above 150 kW at take off and is to be integrated along with a 150 kW thermal engine in VoltAero's proprietary hybrid propulsion unit. Features include an integrated motor controller and an optimised air-cooling system for thermal management.
Under terms of the agreement, Safran Electrical & Power will deliver an ENGINeUS 100 motor before year-end for ground-based endurance testing of the electric-hybrid propulsion system. The supply of a flight-qualified ENGINeUS 100 will follow in 2023, enabling the startup of flight testing with the Cassio 330 prototype. Certification of the electric motor is scheduled for mid 2023.
“This marks another important step toward the Cassio 330's first take off, initiating the certification programme for our Cassio family of airplanes,” says CEO and chief technology officer Jean Botti. “The Cassio will benefit from the high-power density and proven technology that Safran Electrical & Power has applied in its ENGINeUS electric motor product line.”
VoltAero will produce Cassio aircraft in three versions, each sharing a high degree of modularity and commonality. First to be certified is the Cassio 330, with a capacity of four/five seats and powered by the 330 kW electric-hybrid propulsion system. The follow-on six seat Cassio 480 will have a combined electric-hybrid propulsion power of 480 kilowatts, while the Cassio 600 is sized at a 10/12-seat capacity with electric-hybrid propulsion power of 600 kilowatts.
The electric-hybrid propulsion system will be installed in the Cassio's aft fuselage, driving a pusher propeller. VoltAero's design for the Cassio aircraft family is based on a sleek, aerodynamically optimised fuselage, a forward canard and an aft-set wing with twin booms that support a high-set horizontal tail.
VoltAero already has gained significant experience with ENGINeUS motors, having logged more than 10,000 km since 2019 during flights with its Cassio 1 testbed aircraft, which incorporates two ENGINeUS 45 versions (rated at 45 kW of continuous power) installed on the wings.
“The ENGINeUS 100 agreement extends our excellent partnership with VoltAero that began in 2019, and it reinforces our common vision for carbon-free aviation,” says Safran executive vice president and general manager for power division Bruno Bellanger. “This is another success for our ENGINeUS range of engines, ideally positioned in the general aviation market for electric aircraft, and it represents a further step towards zero-emission airplanes.”
Safran Electrical & Power's ENGINeUS product line includes a wide range of electric motors with power ratings up to 500 kW.