All the lights are green for the French start-up Voltaero and its hybrid-electric propulsion aircraft. The company has received financial backing from a new major investor: Kawasaki Motors, it said Tuesday. Sky2Share, a Swiss airline specializing in business travel, has also pre-ordered 15 Cassio aircraft developed by the Charente-Maritime-based company.

"Sharing" is our theme to @EBACE2023. We have signed a MoU with SKY2SHARE for 15 electric-hybrid aircraft #Cassio with the common goal of significantly reducing the environmental impact of business aviation.

— VoltAero (@VoltAero) May 24, 2023

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Money and know-how

However, the amount of the Japanese group's investment in Voltaero's activities was not specified. In addition to the financial contribution, the Japanese giant will allow the start-up to benefit from its "expertise" and its "capacity for innovation [...] in terms of engines," said CEO Jean Botti.

Cassio hybrid aircraft are designed to use electric motors located at the rear of the aircraft during taxiing, take-off and landing. This is also the case during the flight for journeys not exceeding 150 km. Beyond that, a combustion engine will be able to take over in order to fly the aircraft longer but also recharge the batteries.

Several models of the aircraft are planned, able to carry 5, 6 and 12 passengers respectively. The first version of the concept, the most compact, could make its first flights by 2025. Voltaero has already received a total of 218 pre-orders and commitments for the different versions of its Cassio.

  • Tech
  • Airplane
  • Startup
  • Electricity