VoltAero Selects Safran Electrical & Power to Supply Wiring for Cassio 330 Hybrid Aircraft

Safran’s experience with high-voltage systems is expected to help the new aircraft through certification.

Development partnerships are meant to help VoltAero move its Cassio 330 aircraft toward certification. [Courtesy: VoltAero]

VoltAero has chosen Safran Electrical & Power to supply wiring for the Cassio 330 hybrid-electric aircraft that VoltAero is developing for certification. The agreement establishes Safran as a primary partner in the aircraft’s production.

Under the companies’ contract, Safran will design and produce electrical wiring for the Cassio 330’s propulsion and power distribution systems. This  extends a 2020 agreement involving the aircraft’s hybrid propulsion system.

One focus for Safran will be the aircraft’s high-voltage wiring, which will be rated for power output up to 800 volts in continuous operation. The wiring also will be designed to resist partial discharge phenomena at altitude. The companies said the Cassio 330’s wiring will be the same size as that produced for traditional aircraft but will carry twice as much power.

Safran is to provide technical support for VoltAero in obtaining the safety of flight (SOF) validation, which is a requirement on the path to the aircraft’s test flights for certification. Safran also will supply the electric motor, called the ENGINeUS 100, meant to generate more than 150 kilowatts at takeoff.

“The electrical wiring is a critical element of our Cassio aircraft, and we’ve selected Safran Electrical & Power based on the company’s expertise—particularly at high power levels,” said Jean Botti, VoltAero’s CEO and chief technology officer. “This marks another important step toward the Cassio 330’s certification and service entry.” 

The VoltAero hybrid propulsion concept uses all-electric power from taxi and takeoff through landing  when the total flying distance is less than about 80 nm. The hybrid design’s internal combustion engine is used to extend range by recharging the batteries in flight. The hybrid system also provides backup power in case of problems with the electric propulsion system.

Jonathan Welsh is a private pilot who worked as a reporter, editor and columnist with the Wall Street Journal for 21 years, mostly covering the auto industry. His passion for aviation began in childhood with balsa-wood gliders his aunt would buy for him at the corner store. Follow Jonathan on Twitter @JonathanWelsh4

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