VoltAero has commenced flight tests for the Cassio e-aircraft from its headquarters facility at the Royan-Médis Aérodrome in France.

The all-new family of Cassio e-aircraft is equipped with Safran Electrical & Power’s ENGINeUS smart electric motors.

The testing is being conducted to verify the electric and hybrid-electric powertrains used on the aircraft.

VoltAero CEO and chief technical officer Jean Botti said: “I am very pleased with the testing as we accumulate time aloft and open up the aircraft’s flight envelope.

“The current test phase is with the powertrain for our six-seat Cassio version, to be followed by validation of the final aerodynamic and powertrain configurations on both the four-seat and nine-seat Cassio versions.”

VoltAero’s Cassio 1 testbed aircraft is being used for flight trials. Two ENGINeUS 45 electric motors are fitted in forward-facing positions on the aircraft’s wings.

The aircraft can be customised for use in different applications, including operations by private owners, air taxi/charter companies and commercial flights.

VoltAero technical director Didier Esteyne said: “Flying on the power of Safran’s ENGINeUS motors is truly remarkable, with no vibration and extremely low noise levels. It confirms that our Cassio aircraft will bring an entirely new experience to aviation.”

The Cassio nine-seat aircraft will also feature VoltAero’s proprietary aft-facing hybrid power module.

According to VoltAero, the power module combines an internal combustion engine and three electric motors.

A prototype VoltAero hybrid power module for the aircraft is currently being evaluated on a ground-based rig. It will be soon installed on the testbed.