Dufour Aerospace publishes specification details of Aero3, its upcoming tilt-wing eight-seater eVTOL aircraft

Dufour Aero­space has pub­lished spec­i­fi­ca­tion details of its flag­ship mul­ti-pur­pose eVTOL air­craft, Aero3.

The Swiss start­up has said Aero3 will com­bine excep­tion­al space, load and range for var­i­ous trans­porta­tion mis­sions, includ­ing med­ical ser­vices, advanced air mobil­i­ty and air logis­tics. The pilot­ed hybrid air­craft is the suc­ces­sor to Dufour Aero­space’s unmanned demon­stra­tor air­craft, which has been test flown since 2020.

Aero3 will fea­ture a decen­tralised elec­tric main propul­sion sys­tem, with eight motors pow­er­ing six pro­pellers fixed to the main tilt-wing and two small­er tail pro­pellers. Mea­sur­ing just over 39ft in length and 13ft in height, it will have a max­i­mum take-off weight (MTOW) of 2,800kg and a use­ful load of 750kg (1,653 lbs).

Its large cab­in and wide doors allow for a six- or eight-seat con­fig­u­ra­tion and offer enough space for patient or car­go trans­port. The design will enable a cruise speed of 350 km/h (189 knots) and a range of up to 1,020 km (551 nau­ti­cal miles).

It is three times cheap­er to run than a sin­gle engine heli­copter and 10 times cheap­er than a dou­ble engine heli­copter. For advanced air mobil­i­ty, the Aero3 can cov­er its full range in three hours.

Thomas Pfam­mat­ter, CEO and Co-founder of Dufour Aero­space, said: “The tilt-wing design of Aero3 com­bines the best of the worlds of heli­copters and air­planes – the abil­i­ty to take off and land like a heli­copter and the effi­cien­cy and speed of an air­plane in cruise flight.

“It is the per­fect tool to serve future Advanced Air Mobil­i­ty mar­kets because it is effi­cient and safe. But even while these mar­kets are in their infan­cy, our prod­uct will replace a sig­nif­i­cant num­ber of today’s light and medi­um heli­copters, as it meets the require­ments of today’s oper­a­tions at much low­er costs, more sus­tain­able and will be much qui­eter. It will seam­less­ly inte­grate with exist­ing infra­struc­ture and air­space.”

Jas­mine Kent, CTO and Co-founder of Dufour Aero­space, added: “Our test flights with a large-scale demon­stra­tor and the wind tun­nel tests have clear­ly con­firmed the excep­tion­al per­for­mance and ver­sa­til­i­ty of the tilt-wing design,.

“The results met our high expec­ta­tions. The tilt-wing is a proven aero­dy­nam­ic con­cept with a long his­to­ry of thou­sands of flight hours in sev­er­al projects, such as the inspi­ra­tional Canadair CL-84, so there are few­er risks than with oth­er VTOL con­cepts. Now three years into our tilt-wing devel­op­ment pro­gramme, we are con­fi­dent that this air­craft can be built suc­cess­ful­ly to meet cer­ti­fi­ca­tion require­ments.”

While Aero3 is the flag­ship of Dufour Aerospace’s tilt-wing prod­uct fam­i­ly, the com­pa­ny is simul­ta­ne­ous­ly work­ing on a small­er, unmanned air­craft named Aero2.

Using the same aero­dy­nam­ic and tech­ni­cal prin­ci­ples, it is designed for logis­tics appli­ca­tions, inspec­tion, mon­i­tor­ing, map­ping, and pub­lic safe­ty tasks. Described on Dufour’s web­site as a ‘super ver­sa­tile VTOL drone plat­form’, spec­i­fi­ca­tions of Aero2 will be pub­lished at a lat­er stage.

Avatar photo

Jason Pritchard

Jason Pritchard is the Editor of eVTOL Insights. He holds a BA from Leicester's De Montfort University and has worked in Journalism and Public Relations for more than a decade. Outside of work, Jason enjoys playing and watching football and golf. He also has a keen interest in Ancient Egypt.

eVTOL Insights is part of the Industry Insights Group. Registered in the UK. Company No: 14395769