Blueberry Aviation and Dufour Aerospace sign partnership
Blueberry Aviation has signed a global partnership agreement with Swiss hybrid vertical aircraft manufacturer Dufour Aerospace. Dufour Aerospace is building two hybrid tilt-wing aircraft: the Aero2 drone and the nine person piloted Aero3.
“Over the past few years, we have screened the emerging eVTOL market and carried out an in-depth analysis of the many existing projects based on sustainability, economic and performance criteria. Dufour’s technology and products are unlike any other VTOL project being currently developed,” said Francois Gautier, Blueberry Aviation’s CEO. “The technology is tried and tested and certification for Aero2 is imminent. We are extremely proud to partner with a cutting-edge company like Dufour. Its management team is unique and very driven, and they have surrounded themselves with a team of incredibly skilled professionals with high-end engineering and aviation backgrounds. Our teams are totally on the same wavelength and are very excited to work together.”
Blueberry Aviation will buy 100 Aero2 and 100 Aero3 aircraft. It will also provide marketing advisory and placement support to Dufour Aerospace. Blueberry is also looking at setting up leasing for Dufour aircraft. It will also offer trade-ins for owners who own helicopters.
“Dufour Aerospace is pleased that such as respected company like Blueberry sees such great potential in our products and is prepared to commit to them with full dedication,” said Thomas Pfammatter, Co-founder and CEO of Dufour Aerospace. “The competence and many years of experience of the Blueberry Aviation team impressed us from the first moment. As an aircraft developer and producer, we will benefit enormously from their experience in the market and gain access to an extraordinarily valuable network.”
Dufour’s Aero2 is an electric-hybrid, remotely piloted aircraft with a payload of 40 kg (88.18 lbs) and a range of 400 km (216nm). The aircraft is due to be certificated in 2023 and enter service in 2024. Dufour expects it to be used for surveillance and mapping, critical cargo delivery, search and rescue, and firefighting.
The Aero3 is pilot operated, has a maximum take-off weight of 2800kg (6173 lbs), a useable weight of 750kg (1653 lbs) with a cabin for up to eight passengers, a cruise speed of 350 km/h (189 knots), and a range of 1020 km (551 nm).
Dufour is designing the Aero3 to meet EASA’s SC-VTOL (Special Condition for VTOL) standards. Aero3 is due to be certification ready in 2025 with an entry into service in 2026.