In recent years, Valais-based start-up Dufour Aerospace has made a name for itself on the international scene thanks to its electric propulsion aircraft projects. The first flight tests of the new aEro3 are scheduled for summer 2019.

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.