The Swiss Federal Office for Defence Procurement (armasuisse), represented by the Swiss Drone and Robotics Centre of the Science and Technology branch, has engaged Dufour Aerospace, the Swiss-based tilt-wing aircraft manufacturer, for a design study. This is a further step to enable research with tilt-wing aircraft in strategically interesting use cases such as the airborne application of small form factor Synthetic Aperture Radar devices.
With a view to the use of Dufour’s Aero2 uncrewed tilt-wing aircraft in research and innovation projects, the flight control system developed by Dufour Aerospace will be prepared for long-range flights in beyond visual line of sight conditions (BVLOS). The design study aims to prepare a smaller test platform that has been developed by Dufour Aerospace called the “AeroMini” for more robust BVLOS applications, allowing the use of this platform in different research projects.
“Dufour Aerospace is pleased to carry out this research contract for armasuisse,” said Thomas Pfammatter, CEO of Dufour Aerospace. “It is an important step towards demonstrating the great potential of tilt-wing aircraft developed and produced in Switzerland for various safety and security related applications.”
About armasuisse Science and Technology (S+T)
The Federal Office for Defence Procurement armasuisse is the procurement, technology and real estate centre of the Federal Department of Defence, Civil Protection and Sport DDPS. armasuisse is responsible for the development, evaluation, procurement and disposal of systems and material of the Armed Forces and other customers. armasuisse Science and Technology (S+T) is the technology centre of the Federal Department of Defence, Civil Protection and Sport DDPS. As such, it ensures scientific-technical competences for the armed forces and the DDPS as well as for security organisations outside the DDPS. Furthermore, it tests and assesses the operational, functional and effectiveness capability as well as the security requirements of current and future systems in the defence and security sector.
About Dufour Aerospace
Dufour Aerospace develops efficient and ecological aircraft for patient and passenger transport, logistics and public safety. Dufour Aerospace’s designs currently under development rely on the tilt-wing principle. They take-off and land vertically in the smallest space like a helicopter, but fly as fast and economically as an airplane. While the propellers are electrically-driven, hybrid elements (conventional combustion engines or fuel cells) ensure a sufficiently long range. The first product Dufour Aerospace will launch is the Aero2, an uncrewed aerial vehicle specifically designed for the transportation of critical cargo such as medical supplies of up to 40 kilograms/88 pounds in medium to long range distances. Dufour Aerospace is based in Switzerland (Zurich and Visp) and has 40 employees, the vast majority of whom work in aircraft engineering.