Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Aerolite to supply composite structural parts for Dufour’s aircraft

Dufour Aerospace has selected a Swiss company Aerolite AG as the main supplier for the lightweight composite structural parts for the nacelles and the tail of the Aero2 aircraft. Aerolite will produce the parts at its production facility in Horw, Switzerland.

A few years ago, Dufour Aerospace introduced Aero2, a cargo drone that can take off and land vertically, like a helicopter. Recently the company released the final design of the Aero2 uncrewed aerial vehicle.

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. The first product Dufour Aerospace will launch is the Aero2.

The Aero2 is 13.4-foot-long (4.1 meters), with a 20-foot (6.1 meters) wingspan. The aircraft’s maximum speed is 81 knots (150 km/h), and its maximum range with a hybrid-electric power source is 216 nautical miles (400 km). The flight time with a hybrid-electric power module is three hours, and with an all-electric power train, the flight time is one hour. The drone’s maximum payload is 40 kg (88 lb) in a standard configuration, making the aircraft the perfect tool for any mission. The aircraft’s maximum takeoff weight is 208 kg (459 lbs).

The design of Aero2 allows for easy exchange of payload capacity for additional fuel. For every 4 kg of payload, an additional flight hour or 72 nautical miles (133 km) range can be obtained. The platform is designed for numerous applications, offering maximum flexibility and the highest safety standards at low operating costs.

The cargo drone has a wide range of applications, including for the transportation of medical goods and critical cargo, for search and rescue operations over extensive areas, and can support surveillance activities in the public safety sphere.

Since the beginning of the year, Dufour Aerospace has been selecting Swiss partners to help bring Aero2 to life, and Aerolite is the latest one. For the first phase of the collaboration, Aerolite will produce and deliver the nacelle and tail structural components for four Aero2 prototype aircraft, with the production of the serial aircraft also being considered.
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Dufour Aerospace expects serial production to start in 2025. ‍‍The manned Aero3, featuring a spacious cabin with eight seats and large doors, is the next aircraft in development by the company.