Swiss eVTOL startup Dufour Aerospace is establishing a base of operations in Montreal, Canada to develop the next generation of eVTOL aircraft, based on the tilt-wing rotor mechanism.

The company will initially hire up to 30 software engineers focused on developing systems for its Aero2 and Aero3 eVTOL aircraft. Flight testing of the Aero2 has already begun in Zurich. 

Thomas Pfammatter, CEO of Dufour Aerospace, said: “Canada and Montreal have such a historic pedigree in both aviation and software engineering that it is a natural choice for Dufour Aerospace which seeks to collaborate with the local ecosystem to grow its local operations.

Himself a long-time air ambulance pilot and business executive, Pfammatter added: “We were initially inspired by the Canadair Dynavert CL-84, where Canadian engineers established both the aerodynamic principles of tilt-wing flight and built prototypes with hundreds of hours of flight time” 

Both the Aero2 and Aero3 feature a tilt-wing that combines the best of helicopters and airplanes: vertical take-off and landing on even the smallest spots and energy-efficient longer-range flight at high speeds. 

The Aero2 is designed for unmanned, remotely piloted operations, while the Aero3 is a manned, 8-seat aircraft designed specifically for air ambulance and Helicopter Emergency Medical Services (HEMS) operations. 

Jasmine Kent, CTO of Dufour Aerospace, said: “Montreal boasts high-quality universities and a strong community of software engineers. Furthermore, Canada is the second-largest global helicopter market with a strong background in advanced software engineering, so the local talent community is well qualified to help us build tomorrow’s fleet of air ambulances.”

Stéphane Paquet, President and CEO of Montréal International, added: “With more than one out of sixty workers employed in the local aerospace industry, Greater Montreal is a unique location to develop tomorrow’s air ambulance. 

“Dufour is inspired by the Canadair Dynavert, an aircraft developed in the 1960s by a Montréal-based pioneer, a new project which is not only a testament to our city’s legacy to the aviation industry worldwide, but also to our growing IT ecosystem which is essential for its advancement.”

Yesterday, Blueberry Aviation announced that it would provide marketing advisory and placement support to Dufour Aerospace as part of a new long-term commercial partnership, and will also acquire 100 Aero2 and 100 Aero3 eVTOL aircraft.