Founded in 2017, Dufour Aerospace, a Switzerland based company, is in the business of making hybrid-electric vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) aircraft and electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aircraft for fast and clean advanced aerial mobility (AAM) operations. Thomas Pfammatter is Dufour Aerospace’s Co-founder & CEO. He operates alongside Dominique Steffen, a Co-founder of Dufour, and Jasmine Kent, who functions as Co-founder & Chief Technology Officer. The company has over 30 years experience in Swiss commercial helicopter operations and building their AAM aircraft for rugged operations in harsh environments with high performance parameters.
Dufour Aerospace's goal is to manufacture and sell hybrid-electric and electric tilt-wing VTOL aircraft. They maintain that such aircraft allow transport to and from any location at five times the speed of a car but at the same cost per kilometer in mountainous and rural environments. The company proposes their aircraft can perform more than 80 percent of today's helicopter operations. The company notes that it was inspired by Canadair’s pioneering work 50 years ago with the CL-84 tilt-wing aircraft.
The Aero3 is a hybrid-electric tilt-wing VTOL passenger production aircraft that holds a total of eight people. The aircraft has a cruise speed of 350 km/h (217 mph) and has has a hybrid-electric range of 1,020 km (634 m) and a flight time three hours. The maximum payload of the aircraft is 750 kg (1,653 lb) and has a maximum takeoff weight 2, 800 kg (6,173 lb).
The aircraft has one high tilt-wing with six electric propellers powered by six electric motors. The main high tilt-wing greatly extends the range of the aircraft while at the same time allows the aircraft to land virtually on any open space. The cabin is spacious and can be custom made for a variety of passenger configurations. The rear of the aircraft has an H-tail which has two stationary VTOL propellers at the center of rear of the tail. The landing gear is retractable tricycle wheeled landing gear.
The company expects the aircraft will be made for urban and regional air mobility, private air transportation, patient transportation between hospitals, emergency medical services and air cargo.
Safety features: Distributed Electric Propulsion (DEP), provides safety through redundancy for its passengers and/or cargo. DEP means having multiple propellers (or ducted fans) and motors on the aircraft so if one or more propellers (ducted fans) or motors fail, the other working propellers (or ducted fans) and motors can safely land the aircraft. There are also redundancies in the sub-systems of the aircraft.
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