Wingcopter, a German startup specialized in the development and operation of unmanned delivery drones for commercial and humanitarian applications, has secured $22 million in Series A funding. The startup produces drones that can be used, among other things, to distribute COVID-19 vaccines in remote regions.
In a blog post, Wingcopter states that the funds will be used to strengthen its leadership in drone-based logistics, with a special focus on healthcare-related applications, including the distribution of COVID-19 vaccines. The financing round is led by Silicon Valley-based Xplorer Capital, a key investor in autonomous technologies, and Futury Regio Growth Fund.
The current model, the Wingcopter 178 Heavy Lift, is distinguished by its shape, that of a bird, but also by its ability to carry up to 6 kg and fly high in the sky, including in bad weather. It provides both one- and two-way delivery, covering distances of up to 120 km (75 miles), but its range is reduced depending on the weight it carries. With a maximum load of 6 kg, it will not be able to fly more than 40 km (25 miles), while with 2 kg on board, it can, however, hope to reach 100 km (62 miles).
In theory, it can fly up to 5000 m altitude. As the name suggests, this drone has a wingspan of 178 cm, and its normal cruising speed is around 100 km/h (62 mph). Note that it has already managed to reach the record high speed (for a drone) of 240 km/h (150 mph). The special thing about it: The Wingcopter can either set down a package precisely using a winch mechanism or land at its destination and return to the starting point with a new payload.
To further expand its market reach, Wingcopter is pressing ahead at full speed to launch the next generation of its aircraft, a game-changing delivery drone with unmatched technical specifications. Pre-orders can already be placed.
In Malawi, Wingcopter recently started a COVID-19 response project called “Drone + Data Aid.” In cooperation with Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH, the local supply chains in the health sector are to be improved. As part of this project, Wingcopter has entered into a partnership with UNICEF’s African Drone and Data Academy to train local youth in drone operations – from mission planning to pilot beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS) delivery and surveying flights.