Like pretty much all other proposed air taxis, Dufour's demonstrator is an eVTOL. That stands for electric vertical take-off and landing, describing a battery-powered aircraft that can take off and land like a helicopter, but then switch into faster and more efficient fixed-wing flight while cruising.
It's also what's known as a tilt-wing aircraft, in which the entire wing – along with its motors and propellers – tilts from a horizontal to a vertical orientation. There are also tilt-rotor airplanes, in which the propellers/rotors tilt independently of the wing. However, Dufour figures that its approach (which was inspired by the experimental Canadair CL-84 aircraft) is a better way to go.
"A tilt-wing does not lose efficiency due to down-load from the prop wash onto the wing," Dufour CTO Jasmine Kent tells us. "Indeed, the props keep airflow attached to the wing, enabling much faster and more efficient transitions between hover and cruise modes of flight than a tilt-rotor. It also saves weight and complexity by having only one tilt mechanism."