On July 27th, Swiss manufacturer Dufour Aerospace finished the first phase of flight testing with their aEro 3 scaled demonstrator. In 550 test flights, they demonstrated their eVTOL technology with transitions from hovering flight to cruise, expanded the flight envelope and assured the stability and control properties of the aircraft.
The aEro line of aircraft are tilt-wing aircraft, for which Dufour says they got inspired by the Canadair CL-84 “Dynavert”, an experimental tilt-wing vertical/short take-off and landing design that first flew in 1964 but never made it to full production. The flight tests showed that even at larger scale and therefore with more turbulent airflow over the wing, the aircraft remained stable all through transition. The tilt mechanism was design in collaboration with Swiss university ETH Zurich.
On August 16th, the company announced the involvement of the Swiss innovation agency Innosuisse through a grant that will serve wind tunnel testing of the aerodynamic properties the aEro 3. Again, Dufour Aerospace will see the support of academic partners with ETH Zurich and ZHAW Zurich. The wind tunnel test will mainly serve to confirm the aerodynamic properties during transition from hover to cruise that were experienced during the flight testing with the scaled demonstrator.