Kawasaki Motors Ltd. has become a strategic investor in VoltAero, participating in the Series B financing for the development, production and certification of VoltAero's Cassio family of electric-hybrid aircraft.
Kawaski Motors, Strategic Investor in VoltAero
Kawasaki Motors Ltd. has become a strategic investor in VoltAero, participating in the Series B financing for the development, production and certification of VoltAero's Cassio family of electric-hybrid aircraft. The investment, announced prior to the opening of EBACE (European Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition, which takes place May 23-25, 2023 in Geneva, Switzerland), marks the latest step in the Cassio program, uniting VoltAero and Kawasaki in a shared vision for the future of electric aviation.
"Creative design and innovative technology"
"Kawasaki's motor expertise and innovation capability bring a new dimension to VoltAero as we complete the final definition of our electric-hybrid powertrain for the Cassio family of aircraft," said Jean Botti, VoltAero's CEO and CTO. "The fact that Kawasaki is a strategic investor is another important vote of confidence for the Cassio program. Hiroshi Ito, president and CEO of Kawasaki Motors Ltd, added, "We were deeply impressed by VoltAero's creative design and innovative aviation technology, as well as its strong sense of mission to contribute to a carbon-neutral society, and decided to invest in VoltAero. We are excited to contribute to VoltAero's growth with this investment."
Toward industrialization of the Cassio 330
Series B marks the third phase of funding for VoltAero, which is positioning itself for the industrialization of its Cassio 330 - the first in Cassio's family of electric-hybrid aircraft. VoltAero's airframe design for the Cassio series of aircraft is based on a sleek, aerodynamically optimized fuselage, a fixed canard at the front, and a rear-facing wing with two booms supporting a high horizontal tail. By incorporating VoltAero's patented electric-hybrid propulsion system into the company's specially designed airframe, the Cassio family of aircraft will deliver an order of magnitude better performance than the current competition, and significantly lower operating costs.
VoltAero's propulsion concept is unique: Cassio aircraft will use electric motors in the propulsion system at the rear of the fuselage for all-electric power during taxi, takeoff, main flight (if less than 150 km) and landing. The hybrid function - with an internal combustion engine - comes into play as a range extender, recharging the batteries during flight. In addition, this hybrid element serves as a backup in case of problems with the electric propulsion, ensuring true fail-safety.
3 versions of the Cassio
The production Cassio aircraft will be built in three versions, each sharing a high degree of modularity and homogeneity. The family will be a high-performance, reliable product line for regional commercial operators, air taxi/charter companies, private owners, as well as cargo, mail delivery and medical evacuation (Medevac) utility services.
Cassio 330 first to enter service
The first to enter service is the five-seat Cassio 330, powered by a 330-kilowatt electric-hybrid propulsion system. VoltAero's six-seat Cassio 480 will have 480 kilowatts of electric-hybrid propulsion power, while the Cassio 600 will have 12 seats and 600 kilowatts of electric-hybrid propulsion power. VoltAero is headquartered at the Royan-Médis Aerodrome in southwestern France, and its Cassio aircraft will be assembled at a purpose-built facility at the Rochefort Charente-Maritime Airport in the Nouvelle-Aquitaine region.
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