Dufour Aerospace, an electric aviation start-up from Valais, is building a vertical take-off electric aircraft that could be used in rescue operations in the future. aEro3 will combine the characteristics of an aircraft and a helicopter, flying at a maximum speed of 350 km/h, with a range of 120 (fully electric) and 800 (hybrid) kilometers. "The first simulations, the calculations and the three 1 :5 prototypes show that the aircraft flies in a stable and safe way,” said CEO Thomas Pfammatter to the Walliser Bote newspaper. Test flights with the larger 50 :50 prototype are planned for the summer. In 2016, the company built and flew one of the world’s first electric aerobatic planes, aEro 1.
The Ark: promoting innovation in Valais
Dufour Aerospace is supported by The Ark, a Valais-based foundation providing practical assistance to help companies increase their competitiveness. The Ark focuses on three specific areas : information and communication technologies, life sciences, and cleantech. Its Incubator, Accelerator and Innovation services offer targeted support to innovative entrepreneurs, with a view to diversifying the local economy and creating a seedbed for new investments.