Monday, May 20, 2024

Air Methods, Wingcopter partners on Spright drone health delivery system

Back in April this year, the German aerospace company Wingcopter launched its eVTOL fixed-wing delivery drone, the Wingcopter 198. Now, the company has partnered with a leading U.S. air medical service provider, Air Methods, to create a drone-based, healthcare-specific delivery network across the United States.

The newly formed health delivery solution, it calls “Spright,” will improve access to urgently needed medical supplies for healthcare providers and the communities they serve. The drone network will build around Air Methods’ existing infrastructure of more than 300 bases, serving hundreds of hospitals across 48 states in predominantly rural areas. The locations primarily supply hospitals in rural areas – currently with helicopters and airplanes.

This fall, Spright will be kicking off this endeavor by partnering with Hutchinson Regional Medical System, in Hutchinson, Kan., for the launch of an initial pilot project using Wingcopter’s delivery drones. This project will provide a proof of concept of how this new and exciting venture can provide needed relief and certainty for medical resources in rural America.

The Wingcopter 198, presented in April 2021, is a state-of-the-art autonomous eVTOL delivery drone that enables safe, reliable, fast, and bi-directional medical deliveries. It is a mixture of helicopter and wing drones and is designed to provide maximum flexibility and ease of use in operations. The eight-rotor drone can rise up vertically like a helicopter and then transition to fixed-wing horizontal flight once in the air. It can carry a payload of up to 13 lbs. (6 kg) and can accommodate up to three packages at the same time.

The delivery drone has a range of up to 68 miles (110 km) and a maximum speed of 90 mph (145 km/h). Therefore, the Wingcopter 198 is an excellent choice to make Spright’s vision a reality.

We are thrilled to team up with Air Methods to create a life-saving drone delivery network throughout the United States,” said Tom Plümmer, Co-Founder and CEO of Wingcopter. “Our technology has been used globally to effectively deliver medical supplies, for example, insulin in Ireland, children’s vaccines in Vanuatu, emergency medication in Malawi, and just recently, blood samples in Germany. Our vision to ‘save and improve lives’ resonates perfectly with Air Methods’ legacy of providing life-saving care, combined with Spright’s ambition to improve the quality of healthcare across the U.S. by deploying fleets of Wingcopters, and we are excited about scaling this together.