Advanced Air Mobility News

Spright To Buy Up To 140 Aero2 Aircraft From Dufour

Spright To Buy Up To 140 Aero2 Aircraft From Dufour

Spright has announced that it will acquire 40 unmanned hybrid electric Aero2 eVTOLs produced by Switzerland-based Dufour Aerospace, with purchase rights for an additional 100 units.

The Arizona-based provider of rotary wing medical evacuation services will become the largest customer of the tilt-wing Aero2 if it exercises all its options.

Spright says the eVTOL can carry payloads of up to 40 kg in standard configuration and 20 kg in long-range configuration. The aircraft can fly for a maximum of three hours while operating in hybrid-electric mode, and provide one hour of “pure electric” flight, whie its cruise speed is listed at up to 170 km/h, according to Spright. The eVTOL will be used to transport medical supplies and laboratory specimens, eventually including human organs and blood tests.

“Part of Air Methods’ mission is to not just save lives, but to improve patient outcomes,” Spright President Joseph Resnik said in a press briefing about the purchase agreement. “A big part of that is moving medicine, equipment or specimens over medium- to long-range distances in a more efficient and faster manner. The Aero2 will give us the ability to do that – especially in rural locations where, a lot of times, healthcare is not as efficient.”

Dufour Aerospace’s Chief Executive Thomas Pfammatter described the deal as a “significant milestone” that “shows that there is great market potential for Aero2 for safe and efficient medium and long-range operations with unmanned aerial vehicles.”

He added that the partnership “extends far beyond unit sales of Aero2,” noting that Spright will now be the exclusive provider of service, maintenance, and training facilities for the eVTOL in North America.

Spright will also assist Dufour Aerospace in obtaining type certification for the Aero2, primarily by providing technical, data and flight-activity support for demonstration purposes and detect and avoid capabilities. Flight testing of the eVTOL is already underway in Zurich, with commercial production slated to begin as soon as next year.

The Aero2 was unveiled by Dufour Aerospace in November 2021, becoming the first commercially available product in the manufacturer’s tilt-wing eVTOL family. It’s being marketed as the “Swiss Army Knife” of small unmanned aircraft, combining the versatility of a vertical take-off drone with the energy efficiency of a conventional fixed-wing plane. With a maximum flight time of three hours and a cruise speed of 170 km/h, the aircraft is considered suitable for a wide range of market applications including logistics, topographical surveys, mappings, measurements and public safety.

Dufour Aerospace is also developing the eight-seater Aero3, a tilt-wing passenger eVTOL capable of flying up to 1,020 km at a cruise speed of 350 km/h.