Zurich, April 22, 2021: Swiss-based company Dufour Aerospace today announced that it has secured additional funding to take its hybrid eVTOL passenger aircraft into pre-production and certification. The round was led by investor session.vc, together with existing investors. The new funds will be used towards the commercial launch of its versatile (hybrid) eVTOL platform.
Dufour Aerospace was founded four years ago by Thomas Pfammatter, Dominique Steffen and Jasmine Kent. The team includes former engineers from Airbus, Solar Impulse, Boeing and Google. Back in 2015, the Swiss company developed aEro1, the world’s first electric aerobatic aircraft.
The eVTOL platform of Dufour Aerospace is based on proven tilt-wing technology, which gives the aircraft the ability to not only conduct a vertical take-off and landing, but also the ability to cruise more efficiently – a key feature of electric flight.
Dufour Aerospace recently achieved further success with the construction of its large-scale prototype eVTOL and the completion of the successful test flight phase with more than 600 flights, including full transition from hover to cruise and back. This makes it the only European eVTOL start-up that showed publicly full transitions on large scale aircraft so far. The prototype was designed as a research platform, with a modular energy bay that allows both pure-electric and hybrid-electric equipment to be installed.
Based on this success, the company is currently developing the aEro3 passenger aircraft, a manned tilt-wing aircraft for medical transport and regional air mobility purposes. The fully integrated proprietary hardware and software allows for full control over all the critical components of the aircraft, representing a milestone in vertical mobility. The aEro3 passenger aircraft has a hybrid range of 1,000 km and, with its versatile applications in urban airspace, it opens up enormous market potential and is currently unrivalled by other competitors. The next step is to build the prototype of the hybrid eVTOL passenger aircraft.
Philippe Bubb, Founding Partner at session.vc, is excited to share the successes of the latest developments with Dufour Aerospace: “We have been accompanying the team around CEO and Air Zermatt pilot Thomas Pfammatter for over 2 years and are excited by the company’s development. Dufour Aerospace is electrifying a proven aerodynamic concept with existing battery technology. With the aEro3 it can cover around 80% of the areas of application for which helicopters are used today and thus addresses a multi-billion-dollar market with sustainable technology.”
“The versatility of the hybrid propulsion system allows us to address large already existing markets, such as the enormous market for emergency medical services, which is currently served by helicopters and ambulances.”, said Thomas Pfammatter, CEO. “Our tilt-wing aircraft models with hybrid propulsion are not only resource-efficient, but also significantly quieter than current deployed helicopters. We are thus creating decisive advantages for use in urban air mobility. With the further development of our prototype, we want to push these advantages further and thus open up numerous other possible applications.”
Dufour Aerospace was founded in 2017 by Jasmine Kent, Dominique Steffen and Thomas Pfammatter with the help of entrepreneur investor Nicolaus von Rintelen. Pioneers in electric manned flight with the building of the first electric aerobatic aircraft in 2015, the team has also developed tilt-wing technology to make future manned and unmanned electric and hybrid electric aircraft a reality. Dufour’s prototypes have already flown many hundreds of flights – both manned and unmanned. The combination of VTOL operation, aircraft design and software development expertise puts Dufour Aerospace at the forefront of Advanced Air Mobility.
session.vc was founded in 2020 by Martin Altorfer and Philippe Bubb. In the past, the two have supported and actively accompanied successful companies such as Bexio, On and Nutmeg as angel investors. session.vc is supported by their own capital and that of entrepreneurs from the tech and consumer industries.
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.