Swiss eVTOL innovator Dufour Aerospace’s Aero2, an uncrewed aerial vehicle specifically designed for the transportation of critical cargo, is a “versatile” platform dubbed the Swiss Army Knife of Drones.

Speaking at the AIRTEC aerospace fair in Augsburg, southern Germany, Jasmine Kent, the co-founder and CTO, highlighted the adaptability of the platform and said the company had seen “a lot of commercial interest”.


Aero2 can take-off and land vertically like a helicopter, but flies as fast and energy efficiently as an aeroplane, by virtue of its unique tilt-wing design.

“In a typical tilt rotor or lift and cruise type configuration, you need to increase the power as you go into the transition, whereas the tilt wing actually requires less power immediately as the wing starts to produce left,” said Kent.

“An additional advantage which is of course shared by other concepts is the high level of redundancy. There is a nice mechanical simplicity to the tilting wing, it only requires one safe actuator unlike many tilting props. And in general it provides a very versatile aircraft that you can operate VTOL or STOL or CTOL.”

Dufour Aerospace has built three prototypes (demonstrator aircraft, X2.1 and X2.2) and demonstrated full transition in 2020.

The team is currently developing the next generation prototype (X2.3), which will deliver full flight capabilities with a hybrid electric propulsion unit. They expect serial production to start in 2025.

European Medical Drone deal

Earlier this week, European Medical Drone, the Swedish drone operator focusing on connecting hospitals by means of drone transportation, and Dufour Aerospace, signed a development cooperation and purchase agreement for 11 Aero2 uncrewed tilt-wing aircraft.

The agreement includes the delivery of one Aero2 X2.3 prototype aircraft in 2024 and 10 serial Aero2 aircraft with delivery starting in 2026. Savback Helicopters, Swedish helicopter vendor and partner of Dufour Aerospace, is assisting this transaction.

The platform is designed for numerous applications. The ability to transport up to 40 kg (88 lbs) of payload over 400 km (216 NM) in standard configuration equips the aircraft for many missions.

“The primary use case that we are building the first aircraft for is critical cargo transport,” said Kent.

“We are seeing quite a lot of commercial interest for medical samples, for organs, for other high value cargo that needs to be delivered quickly. Resupply in the ocean is also quite a big one.

“However, there are many other applications, public safety is quite a big one. So it’s a very versatile sensor platform. You can use it for monitoring, for surveillance, and also for firefighting.”

The manned Aero3, featuring a cabin with eight seats and large doors, is the next aircraft in development by Dufour Aerospace.

Image courtesy Dufour Aerospace
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