Safran to provide electric motor for VoltAero’s Cassio 330



VoltAero’s prototype Cassio 330 will use Safran’s ENGINeUS 100 smart electric motor in the aircraft’s parallel electric-hybrid propulsion system, after the agreement was signed today at the Farnborough International Airshow.

The ENGINeUS 100 will have a maximum rating of well above 150 kW at takeoff and is to be integrated along with a 150-kW thermal engine in VoltAero’s hybrid propulsion unit on the Cassio 330.

Under terms of the agreement, Safran Electrical & Power will deliver an ENGINeUSTM 100 motor before year-end for ground-based endurance testing of the electric-hybrid propulsion system. The supply of a flight qualified motor will follow in 2023, allowing flight testing to begin. Certification of the electric motor is scheduled for mid-2023.

Jean Botti, VoltAero’s CEO and chief technology officer, said: “This marks another important step toward the Cassio 330’s first takeoff, initiating the certification program for our Cassio family of airplanes. Cassio will benefit from the high-power density and proven technology that Safran Electrical & Power has applied in its ENGINeUSTM electric motor product line.”

The electric-hybrid propulsion system will be installed in the Cassio’s aft fuselage, driving a pusher propeller.

VoltAero has already  logged more than 10,000 km on ENGINeUS motors since 2019 during flights with its Cassio 1 testbed aircraft – which uses two ENGINeUS 45 versions (rated at 45 kW of continuous power) installed on the wings.

Bruno Bellanger, Safran Electrical & Power, executive vice president and general manager for Power division, said: “The ENGINeUSTM 100 agreement signed today extends our excellent partnership with VoltAero that began in 2019, and it reinforces our common vision for carbon-free aviation. This is another success for our ENGINeUSTM range of engines, ideally positioned in the general aviation market for electric aircraft, and it represents a further step towards zero-emission airplanes.”

Elsewhere at the show, VoltAero announced it is to use Thales’ FlytLink Edge computing system on its Cassio aircraft. The system performs real-time processing of imagery from on-board cameras using AI, supporting functions like obstacle detection and air traffic. FlytLink’s validation is currently underway using the Cassio 1 testbed.