Dufour Aerospace announced on March 7, 2018 that it was developing a tilt-wing eVTOL called the “aEro2.” The company stated that the aEro2 would build on the success of its aEro 1 electric CTOL aerobatic plane. The eVTOL aEro2 will use a modular hybrid-electric power system.
The company says “Our aircraft uses a proven tilt-wing design concept which keeps the wings constantly under airflow and therefore offers outstanding stability and control even in very slow flight. An efficient tail fan provides pitch control in hover flight and ensures that aEro 2 is robust against changes in center of gravity and gusty conditions.”
“Four motors (two on each side) provide redundancy, with each motor temporarily able to provide twice the power to keep full hover capacity in case of a failure. The laminar airflow around the wing makes it less vulnerable to vortex ring state, strong wind and gust conditions in hover than any other aircraft.”
The winged design of aEro 2 ensures if that any rotors fail, the aircraft can land on an airfield.
The company’s aEro 1 eCTOL aircraft was started in March 2015 and first flew in June 2016. It began the first conceptual designs of aEro 2 in Sept. 2016. In Dec. 2017, the company began testing different concepts (especially tilt-wing and tilt-rotor) and the first model prototypes to simulate different steering and flying configurations. By March 2018, Dufour the company had tested different scale models for a total of 20 flight hours in real flight conditions in all configurations.
In Jan. 2018, the company flew a full flight simulation of the full-scale aircraft in the simulator. The full-scale configuration of the aircraft had with all the basic parameters, like weights, balance, aerodynamic profiles, power and RPM settings.
In Oct. 2018, the company plans to conduct the first flights with a one-third scale aircraft. The company will also have the final CFD simulation results to freeze the design. Dufour would like to have a working prototype by spring of 2019.
Characteristics (March 2018)
- 320 km/h speed cruise
- Hover Performance at 2,000 m at ISA +20 deg C.
- 2 seats
- optional piloted
- hybrid or fully electric
- range 800 km in hybrid mode and 120 km in full electric mode
- low noise profile and low downwash profile makes it best in class for Urban Air Transport and operation in populated areas
- Search eVTOL news posts
- Dufour website
- Article: Dufour Aerospace announces aEro 2 hybrid eVTOL aircraft, Vertical Magazine, March 7, 2018
- Podcast: Dufour Aerospace Co-Founder Thomas Pfammatter on the aEro2 VTOL Electric Aircraft, Aerospace Engineering Blog, July 10, 2018