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Dufour and Rega partner to develop eVTOL air ambulance

Dufour Aerospace and Swiss Air Rescue – Rega have signed a letter of intent to cooperate on development of an air ambulance version of Dufour’s tilt-wing Aero3 eVTOL aircraft.  

Dufour Rega rescue eVTOL
Dufour’s Aero3 eVTOL will have a hybrid propulsion system for the performance required to compete with conventional rescue helicopters. Dufour Aerospace Image

Under the agreement, Rega will leverage its medical knowledge and expertise in air rescue to advise Dufour in product development, operational standards, and certification.

Founded in 1952, Rega currently reaches every location in its operational area in Switzerland within a 15-minute flight by rescue helicopter. In entering into the agreement with Dufour, Rega leadership cited the potential of eVTOL in air rescue and the opportunity to influence development of an air medical version of the piloted, hybrid Aero3 at an early stage. 

“Continuous development is in Rega’s DNA. The Aero3 is an exceptionally interesting aircraft, and we want to support its development with our experience from 70 years of HEMS [helicopter emergency medical services] operation,” said Rega CEO Ernst Kohler.

In a joint press release, the two companies described their cooperation as an “important step towards making the advances of advanced air mobility available to patients.”   

Dufour Aerospace CEO Thomas Pfammatter, who is an active helicopter rescue pilot himself, stated: “The collaboration with Rega will challenge Dufour Aerospace and advance our product development. They are a global leader in air rescue with the highest standards. Through this partnership, we will better understand and meet the needs of our customers.” 

He added that the Aero3 will be more efficient, less expensive, and quieter than today’s helicopters while meeting demanding requirements for patient transport in terms of payload, speed, and range. It will also “integrate seamlessly with existing infrastructure and systems,” he said. 

Rega and Dufour said they will establish the specific content and timing of their partnership in a formal cooperation agreement at a future date.  

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