Test flights at Dübendorf airfield

October 3, 2022

In Dübendorf, Dufour Aerospace has not only found the ideal location for carrying out test flights but also the perfect environment to drive innovation.

At Dübendorf airfield, Dufour Aerospace is currently carrying out test flights with its Aero2 prototypes as well as with its smaller software testing platform AeroMini.  

These test flights currently include two different types of activity. In so-called phase 1 flights, we do hover tests with our Aero2 prototypes X2.1 and X2.2. Hover testing requires only a small operational volume and can therefore be carried out just in front of our Dübendorf hangar. In phase 2, we do transition flights and therefore benefit from a larger operational radius. These tests take place over the main runway of Dübendorf airfield.

In order to establish and improve our procedures and gather experience with our equipment in the airspace of an active airfield, we have first used our smaller AeroMini software testing platform before starting the more complex activities with the Aero2 prototypes. In our video below, we take you on a test flight with our Aero2.

Our test flight activity in Dübendorf has been planned and established in close collaboration with SkyLab, a non-profit foundation supporting scientific, technological and academic utilization of research flight platforms. Their support was very valuable in proposing safe and efficient procedures to integrate our operations into the active military airfield. 

In close exchange with authorities
All of our test flight activities have to be closely coordinated with Skyguide (Air Traffic Management) and the Swiss Air Force, who is running Dübendorf airport. For every operation, Dufour puts in a slot request that has to be approved by both Skyguide and the CFO (Chief Flight Operator) of Dübendorf airfield. In regular meetings the activities are reviewed and procedural improvements implemented.  

Daniel Bazzani, Lead Engineer Flight Test emphasizes the good collaboration between Dufour and the Dübendorf authorities: “We really appreciate the flexibility and the positive attitude they show towards our operations.” 

Where trailblazing innovations are born
With the Switzerland Innovation Park Zurich, a new platform for research, development and innovation has been created on the Dübendorf airfield site having air mobility as a strategic focus – thus providing an ideal surrounding for Dufour Aerospace. “Dübendorf is very accommodating, supportive and excited about what we are doing,” Bazzani says. 

Fuelled by the inspiring working atmosphere at Dübendorf airfield, Daniel Bazzani and the entire Dufour staff are looking forward to expanding their operational radius and achieving further milestones in Dufour’s flight test programme.

Read more about SkyLab foundation
Read more about Swiss Innovation Park Zurich

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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.