Benefitting from 10 years of pioneering expertise, VoltAero is developing a truly unique general aviation airplane with a distributed hybrid-electric propulsion system for safe, quiet, efficient and eco-friendly flight.
It takes a top-flight team to set new standards in aviation, and VoltAero has assembled just that for its new-generation hybrid-electric aircraft.
The VoltAero aircraft utilizes a combination of electric motors and an internal combustion engine in a "push-pull" configuration. A flight demonstrator, along with a ground-based "iron bird" system test rig, will validate VoltAero's hybrid configuration through late 2019, de-risking it for airworthiness certification and the subsequent application on a new-production airplane to be built using strong, lightweight composite materials.
Seating from four to nine persons, VoltAero's production aircraft will have a flight duration of at least 3.5 hours - providing a highly-capable and reliable general aviation platform for private owners, air taxi/charter companies, commercial flights for point-to-point regional travel, and for use in other utility-category applications.
Safe, efficient and eco-friendly: these are the keywords for VoltAero's aircraft design - bringing a distributed hybrid-electric power system with electric motors and an internal combustion engine into a "push-pull" propulsion configuration that delivers a total power output of 440 kilowatts. VoltAero's "pull" is provided by two forward-facing 60-kilowatt electric motors on the wings with multi-blade propellers. These motors are used in nearly-silent take-offs and landings for eco-efficient and neighbour-friendly operations at airports.
The "push" comes from a 170-kilowatt internal combustion engine that drives a multi-blade "pusher" propeller during cruise flight. This engine also is used to charge the on-board batteries for the aircraft's electric motors.
Installed along with the internal combustion engine is a 150-kilowatt electric motor, which together create VoltAero's aft-fuselage power module. The power module provides an added safety function, offering an immediate auto-start capability with its electric motor to drive the "pusher" propeller if the forward-facing "puller" electric motors encounter a problem during critical moments of flight, particularly the take-off.
Deliveries of production aircraft are expected to begin during the 2021-2022 timeframe from VoltAero's final assembly facility in the Nouvelle Aquitaine region of southwest France. At full rate, VoltAero anticipates producing approximately 150 aircraft annually.