Hybrid-electric aircraft developer VoltAero this week boosted its management team with three appointments to its advisory board. Founder Jean Botti has turned to a trio of former Airbus colleagues, Pilar Albiac-Murillo, Charles Champion, and Sean O’Keefe, to support his plans to bring the Cassio family of aircraft to market by the end of 2023. Before launching the French start-up, Botti was chief technical officer with the European aerospace group and led its E-Fan all-electric aircraft program.
Albiac-Murillo was previously executive vice president and chief operating officer of Airbus Defence and Space. She has also served as chairman and CEO of automotive manufacturer Saginaw Deutschland, after holding leadership roles with Philips Innovation Sciences, Delphi Corp, and Remy de Mexico.
During his time with Airbus, Champion held various management roles, including executive vice president for engineering with a seat on the group’s executive committee. He was product executive for Airbus’s single-aisle airliner program and executive vice president for the A380 widebody aircraft.
From 2009 to 2014, O’Keefe was chief executive of Airbus’s U.S. operation, and of EADS, which preceded it. He has also served as NASA administrator, deputy director of the U.S. Office of Management and Budget, Navy secretary, and comptroller of the Department of Defense.
The VoltAero advisory board already includes Rotec chairman Mikhail Lifshits. The company’s management team also includes general director Marina Evans and technical director and test pilot Didier Esteyne.
The company is developing a four-seat Cassio 330 hybrid-electric aircraft, as well as the six-seat Cassio 480 and the ten-seat Cassio 600. These will be powered by three of Safran's 60 kW Engineus 45 electric motors and a 370-hp internal combustion engine, driving a five-bladed pusher propeller.