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Dufour completes first phase of VTOL tech demonstrator flight trial

Building on the experience of manned electric flight with the aerobatic plane aEro 1, Dufour Aerospace have announced a successful completion of the first phase of flight testing of its VTOL technology demonstrator aircraft, reports africandronevoice.com.

Over the course of 550 test flights, the company has demonstrated a high degree of stability and control in all conditions, including transitions from hover to cruise and then back again. Inspired by Canadair’s pioneering work fifty years ago with the CL-84, Dufour’s research has shown that tilt-wing convertible aircraft offer a high degree of safety and efficiency.

Felix Rubin, lead engineer for aerodynamics, commented, “At larger scales, slipstream airflows over tilting wings become more turbulent and harder to predict, where care is needed to ensure that the aircraft remains stable during transition. With this large-scale unmanned aircraft, we’ve now been able to demonstrate that we can achieve that stability at high Reynolds numbers.”

Company CTO, Jasmine Kent, commented, “From our simulations, we expected that our proprietary tilt-wing control system, developed over the last two years in collaboration with ETH Zurich, would perform well. Yet, it is encouraging to see that its performance and stability exceeded our expectations.”

And CEO Thomas Pfammatter, added, “We now have solid experience with both manned electric fixed-wing and eVTOL technology. As a helicopter rescue pilot, I’m looking forward to bringing these together.”

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