VoltAero’s prototype Cassio 330 will utilize Safran Electrical & Power’s ENGINeUSTM 100 smart electric motor in the aircraft’s parallel electric-hybrid propulsion system.
The ENGINeUSTM 100 will have a maximum rating of well above 150 kW at takeoff and is to be integrated along with a 150-kW thermal engine in VoltAero’s proprietary hybrid propulsion unit on the Cassio 330. Features of the ENGINeUSTM 100 include an integrated motor controller and an optimized air-cooling system for thermal management.
Under terms of the agreement, Safran Electrical & Power will deliver an ENGINeUSTM 100 motor before year-end for ground-based endurance testing of the electric-hybrid propulsion system. The supply of a flight qualified ENGINeUSTM 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.
VoltAero will produce Cassio airplanes 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 optimized 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 ENGINeUSTM motors, having logged more than 10,000 km. since 2019 during flights with its Cassio 1 testbed aircraft – which incorporates two ENGINeUSTM 45 versions (rated at 45 kW of continuous power) installed on the wings.
“The ENGINeUSTM 100 agreement signed today extends our excellent partnership with VoltAero that began in 2019, and it reinforces our common vision for carbon-free aviation,” stated Bruno Bellanger, Safran Electrical & Power’s Executive Vice President and General Manager for Power division. “This is another success for our ENGINeUSTM 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 ENGINeUSTM product line includes a wide range of electric motors with power ratings up to 500 kW.