N E W S
TO GROW BIZAV MARKET
Artist’s impression of the
Below: The iron bird
prototype used for
“I am convinced this
is the future of general
aviation – the business
case works really well”
Jean Botti, founder and CEO of VoltAero the airframe’s
BUSINESS AIRPORT INTERNATIONAL JANUARY 2 0 2 0 |
The boss of French hybrid
aircraft company VoltAero
has said he believes the
pioneering airplane his firm is
developing could significantly grow the
business and general aviation market.
VoltAero, which is headed up by
former Airbus chief technology officer
Jean Botti is developing the Cassio
hybrid aircraft and is specifically
targeting the business and general
The company expects the first hybrid
flight of its prototype to take place in the
west of France next month, as it aims
for certification within three years and
to be manufacturing 150 aircraft a year
There are around 30 hybrid fixed
wing aircraft in development around the
world. Only a few series-hybrid electric
aircraft have ever been successfully
flight-tested, such as the Diamond
E-Star and Ampaire’s Electric EEL.
The Cassio will be available in four,
six and nine seat configurations. The
final version of the aircraft will weigh
2.5 tons to qualify for EASA’s CS-23
certification, will have a cruising
speed of 200 knots and a
range of 800km.
Cassio has been
designed to be faster
than aircraft made by
direct competitors such
as Cirrus and Cessna.
The hybrid aircraft will
use 600kW of power and
produce 20% less emissions
than similar aircraft.
The Cassio will require an
1,800ft runway length for takeoff,
opening up the possibility of using it
at smaller airports. “I am convinced this
is the future of general aviation,” said
VoltAero CEO Botti. “The lower cost of
ownership and the business case work
really well. We need to better use the
infrastructure, including small airports.
Many of which are idle a lot of the time.
“The world is going to see a lot of
growth in the electrification of aviation.
It will expand the customer base for
general and business aviation.”
The prototype is a modified Cessna
337 Skymaster, which was chosen for
“We are confident
we will have our first fully
hybrid configuration testbed
flying by the end of February or early March” said
Botti, CEO of VoltAero. “I think we will surprise many
people with our first flight.”
The testbed aircraft is expected to fly for around 20
hours before engineers modify it for its final 100 hours
of flight testing by adding an optimized propeller on
the rear hybrid power module.
“The hybrid configuration means if there is a big
issue with the electric side you can still land safely.
We also want to stay in the kilowatt range for battery
power. Certification in the MW range will take much
longer,” he said.