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Dufour’s eVTOL aircraft to carry out medical, search and rescue missions in Australia

Swiss-based Dufour Aerospace has secured a new partnership that could see its unmanned and manned tilt-wing eVTOL aircraft used for medical, commercial and search and rescue operations in Australia. 

Dufour Aerospace
Swiss-based Dufour Aerospace has signed a letter of intent with V-Star Powered Lift Aviation which could see Dufour’s eVTOL aircraft used for medical, commercial and search and rescue operations in Australia. Dufour Aerospace Image

The eVTOL developer has partnered with V-Star Powered Lift Aviation, a new venture founded by three aviation experts who merged two South Australian aviation businesses together to form a company that focuses on the future of VTOL aircraft for domestic applications.

“These new aircraft designs will change the way we approach regional travel and transport in Australia,” said Tony Laws, CEO and founder of V-Star. “Anywhere we need to get people and equipment quickly and cheaply is where these aeroplanes come in.”

According to its website, V-Star has been in discussions with Dufour for the last five years and has signed a letter of intent to purchase 25% of the first two years of Dufour’s manufacture of its Aero2 and Aero3 aircraft.

“We are very much looking forward to exploring the many opportunities for deploying unmanned and manned tilt-wing aircraft in Australia,” said Thomas Pfammatter, co-founder and CEO of Dufour. “The formation of V-Star Powered Lift Aviation marks an important milestone in this journey. We are proud to be working with such an experienced team to move sustainable aviation forward.”

Dufour is developing two types of aircraft, both powered by a hybrid-electric powertrain. The first aircraft it plans to bring to market, the Aero2, is a small uncrewed drone with a targeted payload of up 40 kilograms (88 pounds) in its standard configuration, a cruising speed of up to 170 kilometers an hour (106 miles per hour), and a range of 400 km (249 mi).

The company is also developing an eight-seat piloted Aero3 aircraft, with a targeted cruising speed of 350 km/h (215 mph), a range of up to 1,020 km (630 mi), and a useful load of 750 kg (1,650 lb). Dufour claims the aircraft will be able to complete missions that existing helicopters can carry out. 

The Swiss eVTOL company recently established a Canadian site in Montreal, Quebec, where it intends to hire around 30 software engineers to design systems and software for both aircraft. The company is targeting type certification in 2023 for the Aero2, and 2025 for the Aero3.

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