VoltAero is testing contemporary Safran electrical motors on its Cassio e-plane. The electrical-hybrid airplane has a few tricks up its sleeves.
VoltAero examined Safran’s contemporaryENGINeUS smart electrical motorson its Cassio airframe.The VoltAero electrical and hybrid nine-seater isthebrainchild of Jean Botti, ex-Airbus E-Fan director, and check-pilotDidier Esteyne, who handled the check flight. Each pack critical electrical aviation credentials, having spearheaded Airbus’ now-defunct e-Fan aviation challenge. It has since been replaced by the e-Fan X challenge, which we’ll get into after my subsequent interview with Airbus.
I spoke to Jean Botti over the last holiday to understand why the Cassio is so important to the emerging electrical urban air mobility (UAM) industry. The Cassio is loosely based on a Cessna 337. Nonetheless unlike Ampaire’s approach, the French team most efficient makes employ of 1 aft propeller and two electrical motors mounted on the wings. The 2 wing-mounted Safran ENGINeUSes are rated at 45kW with a peak of 70kW. Safran offers up to 100kW air-cooled electrical motors and up to half a MW oil-cooled electrical motors. Botti told me they plan on using the 60kW motors subsequent.
The contemporary ENGINeUS smart electrical motors have been introduced at the last NBAA in Las Vegas the place I had the pleasure of speaking with Hervé Blanc, government vice chairman and general manager of the electrical systems and motors division at Safran Electrical & Energy.
The place the front propeller is on a 337 is replaced by a coil housing the front battery pack. The rear propeller is a heavily modified Nissan V6 by French automobile racing, Solution F, a VoltAero partner. The 170kW (228 hp) engine will accelerate on biofuel and acts as a generator for 3 electrical Enmax motors driving the propeller shaft. The diversified partner is Aero Composites Saintonge (ACS). It handles prototyping and composite materials, which makes up most of the Cassio, as neatly as the aerospace design and electrical propulsion.
The European CS-23 certified VoltAero Cassio will arrive in three variations. The pure electrical Cassio will seat four, while the sunshine hybrid will seat six, and the tubby hybrid nine. The pure electrical has a range of 200 km (110 nmiles) on electrical energy alone. The second version can soar 200–600 km (110–320 nmi), and the third hybrid can soar over a distance of 600 km.
The Cassio is archaic by private homeowners, air taxi/charter companies, in commercial flights for point-to-point regional travel, and in various utility-category applications.
The Cassio has a unfamiliar feature: an electrical front gear for peaceful takeoffs. To my data, it’s miles the most efficient aircraft that has this.
Bottitold me: “This flight was important to check thecontemporarySafran engine for take-off.Although it is now now not the primary official flight —the first official flightisMarch 24 with the contemporary aerodynamics.”
This check flight proves the contemporary Safran electrical motors are up to handling the Cassio’s aerial capabilities.
I am very pleased with the testing as we accumulate time aloft and originate up the aircraft’s flight envelope. The latest check phase is with the powertrain for our six-seat Cassio version, to be followed by validation of the final aerodynamic and powertrain configurations on both the four- and nine-seat Cassio variations.
Esteyne enthusiastically said:
Flying on the energy of Safran’s ENGINeUS motors is actually remarkable, with no vibration and extremely low noise ranges. It confirms that our Cassio aircraft will bring an fully contemporary expertise to aviation.
Safran is proud to be powering the Cassio 1 aircraft as VoltAero brings a contemporary dimension to electrical aviation. We are totally dedicated to supporting VoltAero at some stage in the flight check phase and survey forward to the company’s future manufacturing of Cassio aircraft.
On March 24, 1: 30 p.m., French time, VoltAero is planning to unveil the definitive design for the Cassio 2 aircraft during an match at the company’s Aérodrome de Royan-Médis headquarters.
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