ROCHEFORT, France, July 11, 2021 (Newswire.com) - VoltAero has selected Rochefort Airport in the Charente-Maritime department of France's Nouvelle-Aquitaine region to produce its family of Cassio hybrid-electric aircraft on a new purpose-built final assembly line.
This marks another important milestone in VoltAero's development plan for its 4-10-seat product line of Cassio airplanes, placing the production facility at a strategic location in southwest France known for its dynamic economy and established presence of industry - including the aviation sector.
VoltAero's final selection of Rochefort - Charente-Maritime Airport was announced today at the conclusion of a week-long French tour with its Cassio 1 hybrid-electric demonstrator aircraft, which wrapped up the 11-city, 3,000-kilometer itinerary at Rochefort. Cassio 1 serves as the testbed to validate VoltAero's proprietary hybrid-electric power module that will be used in the production Cassio aircraft.
"After an in-depth review of numerous candidate sites, Rochefort was the clear winner based on factors that include its ground and sea-based transportation links, an established aerospace industry in the region, and the final assembly line's favorable location adjacent to the airport's runway infrastructure," explained Jean Botti, VoltAero's CEO and Chief Technology Officer. "This choice also continues VoltAero's presence in the Nouvelle-Aquitaine region, which has provided backing and support for our company from the beginning."
Alain Rousset, President of the Nouvelle-Aquitaine Region, added: "VoltAero perfectly illustrates the challenge of transitioning the aeronautics sector and regional aviation to be more respectful of the environment, as well as a means of bringing together between the French territories. As an early partner of VoltAero with Jean Botti and his teams, I am pleased to participate in the announcement of the final assembly line's establishment in Nouvelle-Aquitaine at Rochefort Airport - a major step forward in the development of VoltAero."
The facility will be situated on a 6,770-square-meter site that incorporates the assembly line, logistics areas and offices. Construction is expected to begin in the second quarter of 2022. At full rate, VoltAero anticipates producing approximately 150 aircraft per year for the Cassio aircraft family.
"We are delighted that Rochefort - Charente-Maritime airport has been chosen by VoltAero to produce this airplane of the future," declared Sylvie Marcilly, President of the Charente-Maritime department, and Catherine Desprez, President of the Syndicat Mixte des Aéroports de La Rochelle - Ile de Ré et Rochefort - Charente-Maritime. "As this project requires the department and the Syndicat Mixte to make investments - and in particular, the construction of an aeronautical industrial building - the project will be presented to the authorities of the department and the Syndicat Mixte during the summer for official validation."
VoltAero is advancing the Cassio family's design phase, benefitting from the validation of its hybrid-electric powertrain through flight trials with the company's Cassio 1 demonstrator aircraft. The first Cassio version to be produced is the four-seat Cassio 330, with a combined hybrid-electric power of 330 kilowatts. The initial Cassio 330 deliveries are targeted for the fourth quarter 2023.