Design Engineering
Showcase 2022

Dufour Aerospace


Project Details

Anna Soligo
UAV Design Engineer
Aerospace and Transportation

Dufour develops tilt-wing EVTOL (electrical-vertical-take-off-landing) aircraft. These take-off with their wings vertical, then rotate the wing to horizontal in-flight. This allows them to take-off and land in confined spaces like a helicopter and fly fast and efficiently like a plane. Dufour is currently developing Aero2: a cargo UAV for entry-into-service in 2025.

To enable rapid prototyping and demonstration of new concepts, Dufour develops ‘AeroMinis’: 2m wingspan EVTOLs. My role was to design and manufacture the next generation of AM craft.

Industry 72 Soligo Anna Soligo

Role and Contributions

I was solely responsible for the next-generation AM6 design. Since the structure is largely 3D-printed, I employed a rapid-iterative design process: I gathered input from project stakeholder to identify necessary improvements to the previous ‘AM5’ design, then iteratively ideated, prototyped, tested, and refined new concepts. The diversity of the role meant I applied and developed a diverse range of skills, such as CAD and sketching, manufacturing optimisation with 3D-printing and carbon and computational analysis such as FEA. Working independently on critical projects meant time-management and implementing a structured workflow was crucial.

AM6 has better controllability and performance than AM5. It is easier to manufacture, transport, and repair, and is finished to a higher standard, visually and structurally. It is the new production standard, and two are currently in-service. The documentation processes and CAD structures I developed now enable other team-members to understand the AM-requirements and work efficiently towards them.

In addition to the AM project, I worked on the Aero2 functional-hazard-analysis, identifying the outcome and severity of system failures. I applied my broad engineering background to develop a system-level aircraft understanding, and an in-depth understanding of hybrid energy-systems. My documentation will be used to guide the Aero2 design and will be submitted for certification purposes.

Output 300 soligo Anna Soligo
Infographic 72 Soligo Anna Soligo