VoltAero’s Cassio 1 Crosses the English Channel

This is the second crossing for the VoltAero team, on Monday using its Cassio 1 demonstrator to fly between the UK and France. VoltAero

“From Electric Cri-Cri (20 kW) and E-Fan (60 kW), we have now reached the 600-kW power level on Cassio 1,” said VoltAero via the company’s Twitter account on Monday, as they celebrated the crossing of the English Channel, after launching from Calais-Dunkirk Airport, in France, at 10:46 GMT (6:46 ET) this morning.

This is the second crossing for the VoltAero team, using its Cassio 1 demonstrator to fly between the UK and France in order to participate in the ACE21 Air Charter Expo. Cassio 1 will also visit Cranfield University, which hosts an aerospace technology incubator sponsored by the UK government and a consortium of entities.

At Cranfield, VoltAero and its partner KinectAir will present to faculty and students, before flying on to London’s Biggin Hill Airport, the scene of ACE21.

VoltAero’s CEO and chief technology officer Jean Botti will be taking part in the conference’s Green Charter 2021 panel discussion.

Advancements Since E-Fan

In 2015, VoltAero took part in the E-Fan project led by Airbus. That’s when the E-Fan demonstrator made the crossing, becoming the first electric aircraft to do so “end-to-end.”

Looking back on that flight and comparing it to today’s, the company said, “The E-Fan’s batteries delivered 60 kilowatts of power for its two electric motors, while Cassio 1 utilizes VoltAero’s proprietary 600-kilowatt electric-hybrid power module. On E-Fan’s historic flight in July 2015, the aircraft took off from Lydd, England and landed at Calais, France.”

“Our second Channel crossing with an electric aircraft clearly shows how VoltAero’s team has progressed in advancing the Cassio program through its development phase for a planned certification in 2023,” said Botti in a pre-released statement.

Botti also pointed out the importance of the stops made on this second trip.

“The stopover at Cranfield University will introduce Cassio to the next generation of engineers, program managers and decision-makers who are to lead the future of electric aviation,” he said.

“And our participation in the ACE21 Air Charter Expo enables us to highlight how VoltAero’s family of Cassio aircraft will help redefine commercial air charter services and regional mobility.”

Cassio 1 has flown more than 4,900 km proving the proprietary hybrid-electric motor, which combines a traditional internal combustion engine with an electric power module to deliver the appropriate power source depending on the demands of a given flight.

Designed to cruise at 200 knots and take off in distances of 1,800 feet or less, VoltAero’s projects that its first Cassio version to go into production will be the four-seat Cassio 330, with a combined electric-hybrid power of 330 kilowatts.

“Cassio 330 deliveries are targeted to begin in the second half of 2023, followed by the six-seat Cassio 480 and the 10-seat Cassio 600, utilizing electric-hybrid propulsion rated at 480 and 600 kilowatts, respectively,” the company said.

Based in Maryland, Julie is an editor, aviation educator, and author. She holds an airline transport pilot certificate with Douglas DC-3 and CE510 (Citation Mustang) type ratings. She's a CFI/CFII since 1993, specializing in advanced aircraft and flight instructor development. Follow Julie on Twitter @julieinthesky.

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