Wingcopter Is Testing the Delivery of Consumer Goods by Drone in Rural Parts of Germany

Wingcopter W198 Delivery Drone 6 photos
Photo: Wingcopter
Wingcopter W198 Delivery DroneWingcopter W198 Delivery DroneWingcopter W198 Delivery DroneWingcopter W198 Delivery DroneWingcopter W198 Delivery Drone
When it started back in 2017, Germany-based drone company Wingcopter focused mostly on airborne deliveries of medical supplies. Over time though, it began to take an interest in other sectors, too. Its latest project is a first-of-its-kind in the country and it involves on-demand deliveries of consumer goods to rural and remote areas.
Wingcopter announced recently that it teamed up with the Frankfurt University of Applied Sciences to test the potential of on-demand deliveries of consumer goods by drone and e-bikes. The “Drone Cargo Bike Express Delivery” project initiated by the two is funded by the German Federal Ministry of Digital and Transport, which agreed to invest €500,000 in it.

As explained by Wingcopter, the company's task within the project is to use its delivery drones to transport everyday goods from a medium-sized center to surrounding villages. Once they reach the location, the packages will be delivered to end customers by cargo e-bikes. The purpose of the project, which is just a pilot program for now, is to improve the local supply of citizens in rural and remote areas. Data collected during the development of this project will be analyzed and, if everything goes according to plan, a sustainable and easily scalable business model will be implemented.

Supply is always limited in rural and remote areas and drone deliveries can be especially beneficial to citizens with limited mobility, such as the elderly, or for people who don’t have a car, as stated by Professor Dr. Kai-Oliver Schocke, Director of the Frankfurt UAS Research Lab for Urban Transport.

The first flights within the project are scheduled to take place next spring in the south of Hesse in Germany. The pilot program will run for 12 months.

Wingcopter’s W198 triple-drop delivery drone can make three separate deliveries to multiple locations on a single charge. It is a wind and weather-resistant aircraft with a wingspan of 78” (198 cm). The drone can reach altitudes of 16,400 ft (5,000 m) and a top speed of 90 mph (144 kph). When carrying a payload of 11 lb (5 kg), the W198 has a range of 46 miles (75 km) per charge. That range increases with smaller payloads to almost 60 miles (95 km) when transporting just 2.2 lb (1 kg).
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About the author: Cristina Mircea
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Cristina’s always found writing more comfortable to do than speaking, which is why she chose print over broadcast media in college. When she’s not typing, she also loves riding non-motorized two-wheelers, going on hikes with her dog, and rocking her electric guitars.
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