The Swiss aircraft development and production company confirms its commitment on the development of a tilt-wing VTOL product family, with the flagship product Aero3 featuring a projected cruise speed of 350 km/h (189 knots) and 1020 km (551 nautical miles) range.
Zurich, August 17, 2021 / Today, Dufour Aerospace published specification details on the Aero3, its flagship product. The Aero3 is a VTOL tilt-wing aircraft that will combine exceptional space, load and range for various transportation missions including most of today’s helicopter applications. This piloted, multi-purpose hybrid aircraft is a successor to the unmanned demonstrator aircraft test flown by Dufour Aerospace since 2020.
Aero3 will feature a decentralized electric main propulsion system of eight motors powering six propellers fixed to the main tilt-wing and two smaller tail propellers. Its large cabin and wide doors allow for a 6- or 8-seat configuration and offer enough space for patient or cargo transport. The design features an exceptional cruise speed of 350 km/h (189 knots) and a range of up to 1020 km (551 nautical miles), Aero3 will be the perfect tool for most VTOL applications.
Said Thomas Pfammatter, CEO and Co-founder of Dufour Aerospace: “The tilt-wing design of Aero3 combines the best of the worlds of helicopters and airplanes – the ability to take off and land like a helicopter and the efficiency and speed of an airplane in cruise flight. It is the perfect tool to serve future Advanced Air Mobility markets because it is efficient and safe. But even while these markets are in their infancy, our product will replace a significant number of today’s light and medium helicopters, as it meets the requirements of today’s operations at much lower costs, more sustainable and will be much quieter. It will seamlessly integrate with existing infrastructure and airspace.”
“Our test flights with a large-scale demonstrator and the wind tunnel tests have clearly confirmed the exceptional performance and versatility of the tilt-wing design,” said Jasmine Kent, CTO and Co-founder of Dufour Aerospace. “The results met our high expectations. The tilt-wing is a proven aerodynamic concept with a long history of thousands of flight hours in several projects, such as the inspirational Canadair CL-84, so there are fewer risks than with other VTOL concepts. Now three years into our tilt-wing development programme, we are confident that this aircraft can be built successfully to meet certification requirements.”
While Aero3 is the flagship of Dufour Aerospace’s tilt-wing product family, the Swiss company is simultaneously working on a smaller, unmanned aircraft named Aero2, using the same aerodynamic and technical principles. Aero2 is designed for logistics applications, inspection, monitoring, mapping, and public safety tasks. The specifications of Aero2 will be published at a later stage.
DufourAerospace develops efficient and sustainable aircraft for patient and passenger transport, logistics and public safety. Dufour Aerospace’s flagship product, the Aero3, can take off and land vertically in the smallest of spaces, like a helicopter, but flies as fast and as economically as an airplane, by virtue of its tilt-wing design. While the propellers are electrically driven, hybrid elements (conventional turbine or fuel cells) ensure a sufficiently long range. Dufour Aerospace is based in Visp and Zurich, Switzerland. In addition to the Aero3, Dufour Aerospace is also developing the Aero2, an unmanned aerial vehicle based on the same aerodynamic and technical principles as Aero3.
With over 30 years of experience in Swiss commercial helicopter operations, we understand the real world requirements of VTOL aircraft. Our engineering team with years of aircraft construction experience is building aircrafts for rugged operations in harsh environments. Our patented combination of proven aerodynamic concepts with the latest technology makes our aircraft rock solid with unparalleled performance.