In collaboration with the Power Up initiative, VoltAero, a French manufacturer of electric hybrid aircraft, will conduct test flights to various airports in the Netherlands and Germany from 13 June to Friday 17 June. The aim is to promote sustainable, regional aviation and to gain knowledge about the feasibility, potential and handling of electric flights. VoltAero and Eindhoven Airport recently signed the agreement. VoltAero is the first company to carry out demonstration flights within the Power Up initiative, in which Eindhoven Airport also participates.
The VoltAeros Cassio 1 will be used for the demonstration flights. This aircraft uses the electric motors of the propulsion system for all-electric propulsion during taxi, take-off, flight and landing. The hybrid function (with internal combustion engine) is used to increase the range by charging the batteries during flight. In addition, this acts as a backup in case of a problem with the electric drive. The electric-hybrid powertrain has undergone extensive airborne testing since 2020. The Cassio 1 has flown nearly 10,000 kilometers on flights across Europe.
The demonstration flights provide insight into operating costs, noise performance, ground infrastructure requirements and technical support for future use of the (hybrid) electric aircraft. The test results will be used for research into performing scheduled flights with electric aircraft within Europe, to connect regions and create a fine-meshed network.
“Our partnership is an excellent opportunity to demonstrate how Cassio can significantly reduce CO2 emissions and noise pollution by leveraging VoltAero’s electric-hybrid propulsion system,” said Jean Botti, VoltAero’s CEO & Chief Technology Officer. “We want to bring the first units to market in 2024. Therefore, this timing is perfectly in line with the Dutch goal of becoming a pioneer in sustainable aviation.”
Roel Hellemons, CEO of Eindhoven Airport: “VoltAero is a very valuable partner that brings expertise in electric-hybrid aircraft. Much experience has already been gained with the Cassio 1 in segments comparable to possible regional routes from our country.” According to Hellemons, VoltAero’s team knowledge of electric flying contributes to Power Up’s research into the future deployment and management of electric flying.
Power Up is an initiative from the four most important regional airports in the Netherlands (Eindhoven Airport, Rotterdam The Hague Airport, Groningen Airport Eelde and Maastricht Aachen Airport) with support from, among others, Royal Schiphol Group and Royal NLR – Netherlands Aerospace Centrum. The Power Up initiative is an open source platform where aircraft manufacturers (OEMs), airlines and airports work together to accelerate the development of a new, sustainable and efficient mobility alternative for optimal interconnection between regions.
Electric hybrid motor
VoltAero is at the forefront of the development of the Cassio aircraft. The company will produce aircraft with a capacity of four to twelve seats. The first to be certified is the Cassio 330 – four to five seats and powered by a 330 kilowatt electric-hybrid engine. VoltAero’s six-seater Cassio 480 has an electric-hybrid drive of 480 kilowatts.
The Cassio 600 has a capacity of ten to twelve seats with an electric-hybrid power of 600 kilowatts. VoltAero offers aircraft that can be used for commercial flights, air taxi / charter companies, private owners, as well as for freight, mail delivery and medical evacuation. The aircraft will be built at a dedicated production facility at Rochefort Airport in the Nouvelle-Aquitaine region of France.