Sales and acquisitions specialist Blueberry Aviation has signed a global partnership agreement with Switzerland-based eVTOL developer Dufour Aerospace to provide marketing advisory and placement support. Blueberry will be Dufour's privileged partner for helicopter trade-in and will set up financial tools to fund or lease Dufour products. In addition, it will acquire 100 Aero3 passenger-carrying aircraft and 100 Aero2 remotely-piloted products from the manufacturer.
Through this collaboration Dufour Aerospace aims to further develop its customer base, as well as secure transactions with launch customers using Blueberry Aviation's industry expertise and worldwide network of operators.
“Over the past few years we have screened the emerging eVTOL market and carried out an in-depth analysis of the many existing projects based on sustainability, economic and performance criteria. Dufour's technology and products are unlike any other VTOL project being currently developed,” says Blueberry CEO Francois Gautier. “The technology is tried and tested. We are extremely proud to partner with this cutting-edge company. Its management team is unique and very driven, and they have surrounded themselves with a team of incredibly skilled professionals with high-end engineering and aviation backgrounds. Our teams are totally on the same wavelength and are very excited to work together.”
Blueberry Aviation has 20 years of experience in the commercial aircraft and helicopter markets and is ideally suited to support Dufour Aerospace in launching its aircraft and achieving its commercial goals.
Dufour technology combines tilted wing with hybrid energy, combining the ability to take off and land vertically with the efficiency and speed of a conventional aircraft.
The Aero3 is pilot operated, has a maximum take off weight of 2,800kg (6,173 lbs), a useable weight of 750kg (1,653 lbs) with a cabin for up to eight passengers, a cruise speed of 350 km/h and a range of 1,020 km (551 nm). It is the ideal candidate for missions currently operated by helicopters, particularly EMS transport, SAR operations and surveillance. It will also create tremendous opportunities for airlines to attract new customers by feeding their current routes with legs from previously untapped areas with limited air services.
The aircraft is being designed to meet EASA's SC-VTOL (Special Condition for VTOL) standards, making use of a hybrid-electric propulsion system to meet the requirements of operators in multi platforms. Aero3 is due to be certification-ready in 2025 with an entry into service in 2026.
The Aero2 is an electric-hybrid, remotely piloted aircraft with a payload of 40 kg (88.18 lbs) and a range of 400 km (216nm). The aircraft is due to be certification-ready in 2023 and enter into service in 2024. It is an ideal tool for surveillance and mapping activities, critical cargo delivery (high value goods or medical supplies such as blood, vaccines or organs), or public security applications like search and rescue and firefighting.
“Dufour Aerospace is pleased that such as respected company like Blueberry sees such great potential in our products and is prepared to fully commit to them,” adds co-founder and CEO Thomas Pfammatter. “The competence and many years of experience of the Blueberry Aviation team impressed us from the first. As an aircraft developer and producer we will benefit enormously from their experience in the market and gain access to an extraordinarily valuable network.”