Volta Volaré has begun taking orders for its four-seater GT4 hybrid private aircraft it calls "the most technologically advanced private aircraft available anywhere on Earth."
Though the GT4 is perfectly capable of taking off and flying powered only electrically, a gas engine starts when the airplane's battery drops to 25 percent capacity in order to recharge it mid-flight. Surprisingly, perhaps, Volta Volaré makes a strong economic case for the GT4. Because the powertrain has only one moving part - the motor or "EViation Drive" - the company claims the need for maintenance is reduced significantly, offering increases in TBO (time between overhaul) by up to a factor of ten when compared to a combustion engine.
The performance-based specifications are:
Take Off Distance: 1400 ft (430 m)
Rate of Climb: 1800 ft/min (550 m/min)
Landing Distance: 1500 ft (460 m)
Cruise: 160 knots (296 km/h) @ 12,500 ft
Ceiling: 24,000 ft
Maximum speed (sea level): 310 knots (574 km/h) - which makes it significantly faster than the Cessna Corvalis TTX
Minimum Speed: 65 knots (120 km/h)
Landing Speed: 75 knots (139 km/h)
Popsci additionally reports that the energy storage system consists of a 900-pound (408 kg) lithium-polymer battery comprising 236 cells, which is a significant chunk of the GT4's overall empty weight of 2,600 pounds (1,179 kg). The battery's recharged by a 1.5-liter gasoline engine fueled from a 23-gallon (105-liter) tank. Combined these give the GT4 a reported range of 1,000 nautical miles (1,852 km).