German airline German Airways, logistics company Zeitfracht Group, and drone manufacturer Wingcopter, are starting to cooperate in the area of drone use for offshore deliveries. Drones will also be able to deliver, among other things, wind turbine spare parts for offshore wind farm sites.
Wingcopter is a German manufacturer of eVTOL unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) and drone service provider. The company focuses on medical supply chain optimization and logistics for package delivery, tools, spare parts, fresh food, and groceries. In 2020, Wingcopter was recognized as a technology pioneer by the World Economic Forum.
Zeitfracht Group and German Airways will be among the first companies in the world to commercially use drones from Wingcopter in logistics. The companies have agreed to purchase 17 Wingcopter 198 transport drones and consider ordering an additional 115 by the end of 2023. The aircraft will be used from the second half of 2024 – initially at sea, for example to deliver spare parts to wind farms.
– At Zeitfracht Group, we are very creative and always interested in using new technologies to become a market leader. From our point of view, the time has already come for the commercial use of drones, for example to deliver spare parts to offshore wind farms, says Wolfram Simon-Schröter, CEO of Zeitfracht.
Zeitfracht Group is already successfully operating in this industry with their specialist shipping company OPUS Marine. The use of delivery drones is correspondingly technically demanding: they must also be able to accurately land on a moving vessel. The Wingcopters will take off from Rostock-Laage Airport, which has also been part of the Zeitfracht Group since the beginning of the year and offers the Wingcopter development team good conditions for test flights, as well as facilities for measuring and evaluating the data collected in the process.
The drones developed by Wingcopter can carry a payload of up to 5 kilograms and, depending on the load, can cover a distance of 75 to 110 kilometers. The aircraft were chosen by German Airways because they are particularly stable in wind and weather while being world leaders in terms of payload-to-range ratio. They take off vertically, requiring no additional infrastructure, and then move horizontally in flight like a regular aircraft. With their all-electric drive, Wingcopter delivery drones also contribute to the development of zero-emission logistics.
Source : Windcopter