Blueberry Aviation has signed a worldwide partnership agreement with the Swiss manufacturer of vertical hybrid aircraft Dufour Aerospace. Dufour Aerospace is building two hybrid tilt-wing aircraft: the Aero2 drone and the Aero3 piloted by nine people.
“Over the past few years, we have screened the emerging eVTOL market and conducted an in-depth analysis of the many existing projects based on sustainability, economy and performance criteria. Dufour’s technology and products are unlike any other VTOL project under development,” said François Gautier, CEO of Blueberry Aviation. “The technology is proven and certification for Aero2 is imminent. We are extremely proud to partner with a forward-thinking company like Dufour. Its management team is unique and highly motivated, and they have surrounded themselves with an incredibly skilled team of professionals with high-end engineering and aviation backgrounds. Our teams are totally on the same page and are very excited about working together.
Blueberry Aviation will purchase 100 Aero2 and 100 Aero3 aircraft. He will also provide marketing advice and placement support to Dufour Aerospace. Blueberry also plans to set up a leasing for Dufour planes. It will also offer exchanges for owners who own helicopters.
“Dufour Aerospace is delighted that a company as respected as Blueberry sees such great potential in our products and is ready to commit to it with full dedication,” said Thomas Pfammatter, co-founder and CEO of Dufour Aerospace. “The skill 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 immensely from their market experience and gain access to an extremely valuable network.
Dufour’s Aero2 is a remotely piloted electric-hybrid aircraft with a payload of 40 kg (88.18 lb) and a range of 400 km (216 nm). The aircraft is due to be certified 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 flown, has a maximum takeoff weight of 2,800 kg (6,173 lb), a useful weight of 750 kg (1,653 lb) 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 designs the Aero3 to meet EASA SC-VTOL (Special Condition for VTOL) standards. Aero3 is expected to be ready for certification in 2025 with entry into service in 2026.