Under the agreement, Rega will leverage its medical knowledge and expertise in air rescue to advise Dufour in product development, operational standards, and certification. Founded in 1952, Rega currently reaches every location in its operational area in Switzerland within a 15-minute flight by rescue helicopter. In entering into the agreement with Dufour, Rega leadership cited the potential of eVTOL in air rescue and the opportunity to influence development of an air medical version of the piloted, hybrid Aero3 at an early stage.
“Continuous development is in Rega’s DNA. The Aero3 is an exceptionally interesting aircraft, and we want to support its development with our experience from 70 years of HEMS operation,” said Rega CEO Ernst Kohler.
More efficient and quieter
Dufour Aerospace CEO Thomas Pfammatter, who is a helicopter rescue pilot himself, stated: “The collaboration with Rega will challenge Dufour Aerospace and advance our product development. Through this partnership, we will better understand and meet the needs of our customers.”
He added that the Aero3 will be more efficient, less expensive, and quieter than today’s helicopters while meeting demanding requirements for patient transport in terms of payload, speed, and range. It will also ‘integrate seamlessly with existing infrastructure and systems’, he said.
Meanwhile, Rega organized a total of 16,273 missions in 2020, and while the rescue helicopters were in the air more often than in the previous year, the ambulance jets recorded significantly fewer missions.