In a groundbreaking initiative, VoltAero has flown its Cassio S testbed airplane. It used a proprietary electric-hybrid powertrain. This was coupled with 100% sustainable fuel supplied by TotalEnergies. This historic flight was conducted from VoltAero’s development facility in Royan, France. It marks a significant step towards achieving aviation’s decarbonization goals.
The sustainable fuel used is Excellium Racing 100. It is derived from bioethanol produced from waste originating in French vineyards. This showcases an innovative approach to fuel production. Jean Botti, VoltAero’s CEO and CTO, highlighted the initial results. They indicated an impressive approximately 80% reduction in CO2 emissions. This is when operating the Cassio powertrain in electric-hybrid mode with Excellium Racing 100.
Based on initial results, we calculated a truly impressive CO2 reduction of approximately 80 percent while operating the Cassio powertrain in its electric-hybrid mode and with the internal combustion engine fueled by TotalEnergies’ Excellium Racing 100. It underscores the opportunity for production Cassio aircraft to represent a major step closer to aviation’s decarbonization goals by replacing standard Avgas 100 high-octane fuel for aviation piston engines.Jean Botti, VoltAero’s CEO and Chief Technology Officer.
Botti expressed pride in VoltAero’s collaboration with TotalEnergies. He emphasized that it signifies progress in the utilization of biofuels in general aviation. Excellium Racing 100 has been in use since 2022. It has been used in various automobile competitions, including the renowned 24 Hours of Le Mans. This demonstrates its viability as a sustainable fuel alternative.
Joël Navaron is the President of TotalEnergies Aviation. He conveyed that this demonstration flight aligns with their commitment. It supports the aviation sector in its decarbonization efforts. “We already have initiated several actions – such as the installation of several electric charging stations for general aviation aircraft, and the launch of a pilot program aimed at offering SP98-type fuel for compatible aircraft.” he added.
The Cassio family of aircraft is developed by VoltAero. It is designed to serve a variety of purposes. These include regional commercial operations, air taxi/charter services, private ownership, cargo, postal delivery, and medical evacuation. The integration of VoltAero’s patented electric-hybrid propulsion system into the Cassio airframe is expected. It is expected to deliver superior performance and significantly lower operational costs compared to competitors.
Unique to VoltAero’s design, Cassio aircraft will utilize an electric motor. This is for all-electric power during various flight phases. The hybrid feature acts as a range extender and recharges the batteries in-flight. This hybrid element also serves as a backup. It ensures true fail-safe functionality in the event of issues with the electric propulsion.
The first production aircraft from VoltAero will be the Cassio 330. It features a four/five-seat interior configuration. It operates on a combined electric-hybrid propulsion power of 330 kilowatts. Following the Cassio 330, VoltAero plans to introduce more models. These are the six-seat Cassio 480 and the 10/12-seat Cassio 600. Each has increased electric-hybrid propulsion power.
Excellium Racing 100 is certified as a 100% sustainable product. This is according to the mass balance system applied by a voluntary certification organization approved by the European Union. VoltAero is leveraging over 80 years of combined pioneering expertise. They aim to develop the Cassio aircraft family for safe, quiet, efficient, and eco-friendly flight in electric and electric-hybrid modes.
The Cassio aircraft will be assembled in a purpose-built facility. This is at Rochefort Airport in the Nouvelle-Aquitaine region of France. VoltAero’s recent flight wasn’t just a show in the sky. It was a bold leap towards making their upcoming Cassio aircraft family certified and ready to fly. It’s about joining hands with the ongoing efforts to introduce Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF). This makes the skies a bit friendlier for Mother Earth.
When VoltAero teamed up with TotalEnergies, it was more than a handshake. It was a shared dream to find alternatives to the old, lead-containing aviation gasoline. This isn’t just a win on paper. It’s a heartfelt commitment from VoltAero to craft airplanes that are kinder to our planet.
The Cassio aircraft family is not just another set of planes. It’s a promise of reliability, ready to meet the varied needs of the aviation world. This flight is not just about tech meeting sustainability. It’s a step on a path to a future where our skies are as clean as our hopes.
Creating the Cassio aircraft family is not just a task for VoltAero. It’s a journey of innovation and a promise to look after our environment. That successful flight with sustainable fuel? It’s a glimmer of hope for a future where green alternatives are the norm in aviation.
The partnership between VoltAero and TotalEnergies is not just corporate synergy. It’s a dance of two industries coming together to chase after sustainable solutions. The progress made by VoltAero in electric-hybrid aviation technology? It’s a joyful leap towards the dream of cleaner, more efficient air travel.