Aero2 X2.2 masters full transition from vertical take-off to horizontal cruise; Update on X2.3 Prototype and Certification
15 September 2023
We are very proud of the outstanding progress made by the Dufour Aerospace team in advancing the super-versatile VTOL Aero2.
On a sunny day in Dübendorf in July 2023, the Dufour Aerospace X2.2 prototype of the uncrewed Aero2 aircraft successfully demonstrated full transition from vertical take-off to horizontal cruise. This is the third prototype from Dufour Aerospace that demonstrates the outstanding aerodynamic qualities of Dufour’s innovative tilt-wing design. And, Spright, the launch customer for Aero2, will soon receive a second X2.2 prototype. This prototype is currently being completed and will undergo tests including system, ground and flight tests. This unit will serve as a demonstrator in the U.S. beginning in October.
“Being able to show the full transition of X2.2 is a really significant milestone for Dufour Aerospace,” said Sascha Hardegger, Chief Operating Officer of 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. ”
These two X2.2 prototypes have a wingspan of around 5 metres (16.4 ft) and a weight of 155 kg (342 lbs). They will be used for further flight testing and envelope expansion in the second half of 2023. Concurrently, Dufour is working on the next version, called X2.3. This version will be equipped with a hybrid electric powertrain provided by Suter Industries. X2.3 will feature a wingspan of around 6 metres (19.7 ft) and a weight of around 210 kg (463 lbs), and will be identical with the production version in dimensions, weight and functionality. Dufour plans to manufacture several X2.3 prototype aircraft to support use cases with experienced partners, globally.
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 critical cargo, for example medical goods, over a distance of 400 kilometres (216 nautical miles) – or up to 1,200 kilometres (648 nautical miles) with a smaller payload. Aero2 is also perfectly suited for long-range remote sensing applications.