Based in Médis, France, VoltAero was chosen for an initial €2.1 million grant, and also is designated for “blended financing” at a higher value that includes an equity portion of up to €11 million.
VoltAero was among the very top-rated companies in a jury’s assessment of 2,077 candidates for this European Union project’s funding. Receiving a “seal of excellence,” the Cassio project was recognized for its motivated team, aviation knowledge and experience, as well as a sound business model and commercial analysis.
Mariya Gabriel, the European Union’s Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth said:
“The European Innovation Council supports visionary entrepreneurs who create transformative solutions to pressing societal and environmental challenges, supporting the Green Deal and the Recovery Plan for Europe. These start-ups and SMEs are set to scale up, creating jobs and growth and giving Europe the global lead in green technologies and solutions.”
VoltAero is developing a family of hybrid-electric airplanes for uses that include commercial flights on point-to-point regional routes, operations by air taxi/charter companies, deployment in various utility-category applications, and for private owners. The aircraft will be offered in three versions accommodating from four to 10 seats, with each sharing a high degree of modularity and commonality.
Marina Evans, VoltAero’s Director General and Co-founder explained:
“The European Innovation Council’s grant is another vote of confidence for our commitment in taking electric aircraft to an entirely new level. This is a recognition of how hybrid-electric aircraft can unleash a revolution in fast, convenient, and eco-efficient regional travel – in which our Cassio airplane family will have an important role.”
Jean Botti, VoltAero’s CEO and Chief Technology Officer, added:
“The European Union project funding keeps us on track for our highly pragmatic and realistic strategy to create an all-new hybrid-electric aircraft family, with the goal to initiate deliveries of production-version Cassio airplanes in 2023.”
VoltAero’s Cassio design brings together a sleek, aerodynamically-optimized fuselage, a forward fixed canard, and an aft-set wing with twin booms that support a high-set horizontal tail. The company’s hybrid-electric module that will power these aircraft currently is undergoing full-scale flight evaluations, using a testbed aircraft operated from VoltAero’s headquarters at the Royan-Médis airport in southwest France.
The Cassio airplanes will be produced at a purpose-built final assembly line in the Nouvelle Aquitaine region of southwest France, with VoltAero leading a world-class team of partners and suppliers. Licensed production opportunities will be pursued in North America and Asia.