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VoltAero
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VoltAero Cassio

BAN's World Gazetteer

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Kawasaki comes onboard with VoltAero
The Series B round marks the third funding phase for VoltAero, positioning it for the industrialisation of its Cassio 330, the first in Cassio's electric-hybrid aircraft family. Kawasaki will add thrust to the programme.

Kawasaki Motors has become a strategic investor in VoltAero, joining Series B funding for the development, production and certification of VoltAero's Cassio electric-hybrid aircraft family.

This investment, announced prior to the opening of EBACE, marks the Cassio programme's latest milestone, uniting VoltAero and Kawasaki in a shared vision for the future of electric aviation.

“Kawasaki's engine expertise and its capacity for innovation brings a new dimension to VoltAero as we complete the final definition of our electric-hybrid powertrain for the Cassio aircraft family,” says Jean Botti, VoltAero's CEO and chief technology officer. “Having Kawasaki as a strategic investor is another major vote of confidence for the Cassio programme.”

Kawasaki president and CEO Hiroshi Ito adds: “We were deeply impressed by VoltAero's creative design and innovative technology in the aviation industry, as well as its strong sense of mission to help realise a carbon-neutral society, and decided to invest in VoltAero. We are delighted to contribute to VoltAero's business growth through this investment.”

The Series B round marks the third funding phase for VoltAero, positioning it for the industrialisation of its Cassio 330, the first in Cassio's electric-hybrid aircraft family. VoltAero's airframe design for the Cassio series of aircraft is based on a sleek, aerodynamically-optimised fuselage, a forward fixed canard and an aft-set wing with twin booms that support a high-set horizontal tail.

By integrating VoltAero's patented electric-hybrid propulsion system into the company's purpose-designed airframe, the Cassio aircraft family will deliver an order of magnitude higher performance as compared to the current competition and provide significantly lower operational costs.

The VoltAero propulsion concept is unique: Cassio aircraft will utilise electric motors in the aft fuselage-mounted propulsion system for all-electric power during taxi, take off, primary flight (if the distance traveled is less than 150 km) and landing. The hybrid feature, with an internal combustion engine, comes into play as a range extender, recharging the batteries while in flight. Additionally, this hybrid element serves as a backup in the event of a problem with the electric propulsion, ensuring true fail-safe functionality.

Production Cassio aircraft will be built 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 and private owners, as well as in utility-category service for cargo, postal delivery and medical evacuation (medevac) applications.

First to enter service is the five seat Cassio 330, powered by the 330-kilowatt electric-hybrid propulsion system. VoltAero's follow on six seat Cassio 480 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.

VoltAero is headquartered at the Aérodrome de Royan-Médis in southwest France, and its Cassio aircraft are to undergo final assembly in a purpose-built facility at the Rochefort Charente-Maritime airport in France's Nouvelle-Aquitaine region.

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VoltAero initiates certification testing for Cassio 330 powertrain
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Installed on a ground-based test bench, the powertrain integrates Safran's ENGINeUS 100 smart electric motor and Kawasaki's four cylinder, high-performance thermal engine from the Ninja motorcycle.
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