Dufour prototype demonstrates full flight transition
Dufour Aerospace’s X2.2 prototype of its Aero2 aircraft has demonstrated full transition from vertical take-off to horizontal cruise, the firm reported last week.
This is the third prototype from Dufour that has been used to test the aerodynamic qualities of Dufour’s tilt-wing design. Spright, Aero2’s launch customer, will soon receive a second X2.2 prototype after it undergoes system, ground and flight tests. This unit will serve as a demonstrator in the US beginning in October.
Sascha Hardegger, chief operating officer, Dufour Aerospace said: “Being able to show the full transition of X2.2 is a really significant milestone for Dufour Aerospace. X2.2 will allow our launch customer Spright and us to demonstrate the outstanding capabilities of Aero2 and its potential to revolutionise middle-mile logistics of critical goods. Customers rightfully want to see flight demonstrations. Only what exists in reality counts. Dufour’s focus on the product is paying off. ”
The two prototypes have a wingspan of around 5m (16.4 ft) and weigh 155 kg (342 lbs). Concurrently, Dufour is working on the next version, called X2.3. This version will be equipped with a Suter Industries hybrid-electric powertrain, have wingspan of around 6 metres (19.7 ft) and a weight of around 210 kg (463 lbs). This prototype with be identical with the production version in dimensions, weight and functionality.
Dufour is preparing the start of series production and certification of Aero2. The first series aircraft will be delivered in 2025. Aero2 will be able to transport 40 kg (88 lbs) of cargo over a distance of 400km (216nm) — or up to 1,200km (648nm) with a smaller payload.