Delivery Drones Take Flight With UPS, Wingcopter Collaboration

UPS subsidiary UPS Flight Forward (UPSFF) is collaborating with German drone maker Wingcopter to advance next-generation delivery drones worldwide.

Drone pioneer Wingcopter was chosen by UPS because of its unmanned aircraft technology and its long-distance delivery track record.

“Drone delivery is not a one-size-fits-all operation,” Bala Ganesh, vice president of the UPS Advanced Technology Group, said in a Tuesday (March 24) announcement of the partnership. “Our collaboration with Wingcopter helps pave the way for us to start drone delivery service in new use-cases. UPS Flight Forward is building a network of technology partners to broaden our unique capability to serve customers and extend our leadership in drone delivery.”

This is UPSFF’s first collaboration with a drone producer. It will work with Wingcopter to help it become certified as an unmanned aircraft for U.S. commercial deliveries. It is the first major move toward developing a fleet with a multitude of varying functions. 

“We are proud to partner with UPS, a global giant in delivery and logistics. Together we aspire to extend the speed and reach of package delivery,” said Tom Plümmer, Wingcopter chief executive officer and co-founder. “Our vision has always been to leverage technology to improve the lives of people around the world, and the strategic relationship with UPS will further accelerate our growth and global expansion, strengthening our role as an industry leader in drone technology.”

Vertical takeoffs and landings in tight spaces are among the Wingcopter’s many features. UPSFF hopes to develop fleets that will alleviate numerous problems facing high-tech, industrial manufacturing, and other industries.

Wingcopter drones hold the Guinness World Speed record of 150 mph. The drones can cover distances up to 75 miles and wind speeds of up to 45 miles per hour, its website says.

The technology features a patented tilt-rotor that allows the drone to shift between “multicopter for hovering and fixed-wing for low-noise forward flight.” 

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) awarded UPS the first-of-its-kind air carrier and operator certification to an unmanned aircraft system delivery company, UPS Flight Forward. 



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