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VoltAero - SKY2SHARE MOU Announced

Swiss Fractional Concern to Acquire 15 Casio Aircraft

VoltAero, the French aerospace concern founded by former Airbus chief technical officer Didier Esteyne and currently about the business of developing the Cassio family of hybrid-electric aircraft, announced on 23 May 2023 that it had signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Swiss-based SKY2SHARE for the pre-order of 15 Cassio aircraft.

SKY2SHARE is a Business to Business (B2B) air-services provider offering on-demand flights to small and medium enterprises by way of a fractional ownership program. The company predicates its marketing efforts upon a conservationist ethos emphasizing near-term reduction of the global aviation sector’s CO2 emissions.

Announced at Geneva, Switzerland’s 2023 EBACE convention, the MOU occasions VoltAero’s accumulation of 218 orders and commitments for its Cassio aircraft family.

VoltAero CEO/CTO Jean Botti stated: “Cassio is perfectly tailored for SKY2SHARE’s ambitious goal of providing productive and environmentally conscious mobility services that reduce business aviation’s environmental footprint.”

SKY2SHARE co-founder and CEO Selim Franko added: “We are impressed with VoltAero’s progress in developing the Cassio aircraft family’s clean sheet design, which offers the right solution for our economically-viable and socially-responsible services as a truly sustainable alternative to traditional business aviation. We are thrilled that the Cassio family will allow us to radically reduce the environmental impact of our operations.”

The Cassio aircraft family’s hybrid-electric powertrain architecture affords excellent safety while allowing operators to utilize runways as short as 1,800-feet—thereby granting SKY2SHARE access to both local and regional airport network infrastructure. Additionally, Cassio’s hybrid technology reduces cost-of-ownership by abrogating the need for the heavy, range-reducing, high-cost-per-kilowatt-hour battery packs characteristic of purely electric powertrains. 

Since 2019, VoltAero’s proprietary electric-hybrid propulsion system has covered more than ten-thousand-kilometers of typical regional airline routes and over-water segments—all the while operating at its full 600-kilowatt power-output aboard the company’s Cassio 1 testbed airplane.

Cassio’s hybrid propulsion scheme comprises a 241-horsepower, aft, fuselage-mounted electric drivetrain powering a single, two-meter (diameter) centerline-thrust pusher-propeller. The electric system provides power during taxi, takeoff, primary flight, and landing. The hybrid feature—which consists of a 221-horsepower internal combustion engine—recharges the aircraft’s batteries while in-flight and serves as a backup in the event of electrical malfunction. 

VoltAero plans to build three iterations of its Cassio platform with occupant configurations ranging from five to a dozen seats. The aircraft, in addition to sharing high degrees of modularity and commonality, will provide regional airlines, air taxi and cargo operators, and private owners a capable and reliable product line from which to fashion their respective fleets.

VoltAero’s five-seat, 443-horsepower Cassio 330 is currently being evaluated for certification under Europe’s EASA CS23 specification. The type’s entry into service is slated for late 2024.

VoltAero is headquartered at southwest France’s Aérodrome de Royan-Médis (RYN) in southwest France. The company’s Cassio aircraft are to be assembled in a purpose-built facility at the Rochefort Charente-Maritime Airport (LRH) in France’s Nouvelle-Aquitaine region.

FMI: www.voltaero.aero

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