ROYAN, FRANCE / ACCESSWIRE / October 3, 2023 / VoltAero marked another important step toward the full-scale production of its Cassio electric-hybrid aircraft family with today's groundbreaking for a final assembly line at Rochefort Airport in the Charente-Maritime department of France's Nouvelle-Aquitaine region.
This 2,400-square-meter facility will serve as the build-up site and delivery center for VoltAero's all-new product line of Cassio general aviation/regional aircraft. It positions VoltAero at a strategic location in southwest France with a dynamic economy and an established presence of industry - including the aviation sector.
The master plan incorporates the potential for VoltAero's future growth of up to 7,400 square meters at Rochefort Airport, as well as enabling suppliers and service providers to develop their own presence as they support the Cassio production.
Aligned with VoltAero's strategy of introducing Cassio as a highly eco-efficient multi-role aircraft, the company's Rochefort Airport industrial facility has been conceived with a focus on sustainability. In addition to meeting or exceeding the requirements of France's RT 2005 regulations for energy-efficient buildings, the project management team went further with features that include a mixed concrete/wood structural design and the use of wooden floors where appropriate, along with rainwater harvesting and photovoltaic panels for electrical power.
Construction is now underway, with the facility's completion targeted for August 2024. It will incorporate the final assembly line, a workshop, logistics area and the design/engineering offices. At full rate, VoltAero anticipates producing approximately 150 Cassio family aircraft per year.
"With today's groundbreaking milestone for our final assembly facility, VoltAero is once again delivering on its promise of bringing a clean-sheet design airplane to market for safe, quiet, efficient and eco-friendly flight using electric-hybrid propulsion," said Jean Botti, VoltAero's CEO and Chief Technology Officer.
Alain Rousset, President of the Nouvelle-Aquitaine Region, added: "The production of Cassio aircraft at Rochefort Airport ensures that our region will be at the forefront of the aeronautics sector's decarbonization. Nouvelle-Aquitaine was one of the first partners for Jean Botti and his teams as they began developing their hybrid-electric aircraft concept, and we look forward to seeing Cassio airplanes as they are delivered from the final assembly line."
Project management for the construction of VoltAero's final assembly facility at Rochefort Airport is the responsibility of a regional association of airports called the Syndicat Mixte des Aéroports de La Rochelle - Ile de Ré et Rochefort - Charente-Maritime. The prime contractor role has been assigned to the Rochefort-based SD Architectes agency.
"VoltAero represents the type of highly innovative companies that we are looking to support at Rochefort Airport in developing the aviation industry's future," stated Gérard Pons, President of the Syndicat Mixte des Aéroports de La Rochelle - Ile de Ré et Rochefort - Charente-Maritime.
Advantages of the industrial site for VoltAero include its direct access to Rochefort Airport's existing 2,280-meter-long X 45-meter-wide runway, as well as the availability of the region's road, rail and sea transportation links.
The VoltAero Cassio aircraft family will be a highly capable and reliable product line for regional commercial operators, air taxi/charter companies, and private owners, as well as in utility-category service for cargo, postal delivery and medical evacuation (Medevac) applications.
By integrating VoltAero's patented electric-hybrid propulsion system into the company's purpose-designed airframe, Cassio will deliver an order of magnitude higher performance as compared to the current competition, and provide significantly lower operational costs.
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