Dufour Aerospace has secured additional funding from session.vc and existing investors, which will help to take its hybrid eVTOL passenger aircraft into pre-production and certification.
The Swiss startup was founded four years ago by Thomas Pfammatter, Dominique Steffen and Jasmine Kent and the team includes former engineers from Airbus, Boeing, Google and Solar Impulse.
Its eVTOL platform 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.
The company achieved further success with the construction of its large-scale prototype eVTOL aircraft and the completion of more than 600 test flights, including full transition from hover to cruise and back.
This makes it the only European eVTOL startup to show 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.
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.
Bubb, is excited to share the successes of the latest developments with Dufour Aerospace. He said: “We have been accompanying the team around CEO and Air Zermatt pilot Thomas Pfammatter for over two 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 per cent of the areas of application for which helicopters are used today and thus addresses a multi-billion-dollar market with sustainable technology.”
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 1,000km and, with its versatile applications in urban airspace, opens up enormous market potential. The next step is to build the prototype of the hybrid eVTOL passenger aircraft.
Thomas Pfammatter, CEO of Dufour Aerospace, said: “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.
“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.”