UPS has announced a new collaboration with Wingcopter, a German aircraft manufacturer, to develop new types of delivery drones. The two companies will work together to certify the existing Wingcopter aircraft for use in commercial supply flights in the United States. They say certification is the first step in developing drones that can handle a variety of supply tasks.
According to UPS, a number of factors have attracted Wingcopter’s drones. The first was technological. Wingcopter drones are equipped with a tilt rotor mechanism that allows them to switch between multi-copter and fixed-wing flights. Thanks to this ability, they can take off and land vertically in a confined space and then fly quickly and quietly to the next destination.
With the latter option, they are also better suited to fly over populated areas such as cities than conventional multi-copter drones. The second factor was that the company’s drones were shipped under difficult conditions. For example, one of the wingcopter aircraft was able to deliver insulin to a remote Irish village in the North Sea, which is often inaccessible due to bad weather.
UPS is currently testing drones primarily to transport medical samples and prescriptions. The company’s ultimate goal is to develop airplanes that allow objects to be transported to companies in various industries. It may take a while for Wingcopters airplanes to deliver packages to consumers in the U.S. and other parts of the world, but this is still an important milestone for both companies.