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Nikos Chatzis

“…Dubbed a “Swiss Army Knife” of small unmanned aircraft by the Swiss-based eVTOL startup Dufour Aerospace, the tilt-wing Aero2 drone was initially meant to be a technology demonstrator, but its performance in flight testing has led the company to bring the design to market.

According to Dufour, Aero2 can carry a payload of up to 40 kilograms (88 pounds), and has a maximum take-off weight of 150 kg (330 lb). The aircraft can travel at 170 kilometers an hour (92 knots) in cruise speed, with a maximum flight time of three hours using a hybrid electric propulsion system, or one hour using pure electric.

Featuring four propellers on the tilting wing and two tail fans, Aero2’s small design allows it to take off and land on tight spots, using as little space as a conventional unmanned aerial vehicle, the company claims.

“This innovative small unmanned aircraft will greatly support our customers in their activities,” said Thomas Pfammatter, co-founder and CEO of Dufour Aerospace, in a press release. “With its quickly exchangeable nose cone, it is the perfect tool to carry different customer payloads, be it in logistics, topographical surveys, mapping, measurements, or for public safety applications.”

Slated to begin commercial production in 2023, Aero2 is the company’s first commercially available product in its tilt-wing eVTOL family. Its developers claim the aircraft’s redundant features, including its motors/propellers, flight control unit, and rudders, will allow it to meet strict safety requirements. It is designed to fully comply with the European Union Aviation Safety Agency’s (EASA) special condition for light unmanned aerial systems…”