On Wingcopter’s first outing in Japan, the German drone manufacturer and service provider teamed up with All Nippon Airways (ANA Holdings Inc., ANA HD) to test the delivery of drones to the Japanese island communities.
This is the latest big news from Wingcopter that has skyrocketed in the drone delivery space. Earlier this year, the company announced a $ 22 million financing round: Last year Wingcopter achieved important partnerships with UPS and Merck.
Now this new partnership is building a drone delivery network with Wingcopter aircraft in Japan. “ANA HD provides insights from decades of aviation experience that will help Wingcopter thrive in Japan’s unique flight conditions in full compliance with local aviation regulations,” said a joint press release. “Wingcopter offers support in terms of pilot training, mission planning, mission design and maintenance.”
“The ongoing testing of Wingcopter aircraft is a significant step forward in creating a functioning drone transport network,” said Tetsuya Kubo, ANA HD vice president who oversees the Digital Design Lab. “We are very excited to be working with Wingcopter as we are building on the advances and innovations of previous attempts to bring drone delivery one step closer to reality. Once this is fully realized, a functioning drone transport infrastructure will help improve the quality of life in rural areas across Japan. “
“We work tirelessly to help a global company like ANA enter new business areas while pursuing our mission to save and improve lives,” added Tom Plümmer, CEO of Wingcopter. “We look forward to the next steps and the general partnership with ANA in Japan and beyond.”
ANA HD has been working on the transport infrastructure for drones since 2016 with the aim of commercial delivery of drones by 2022. “The first phase of the current tests took place between March 21 and 26 with the monitored flight of a Wingcopter aircraft between Fukuejima and Hisakajima in Goto City, Nagasaki Prefecture, ”the press release said. “The flights have shown that the delivery of drones for medical care is feasible, which drastically reduces patient waiting times. In this remote region of Japan, it is difficult to transport medical supplies quickly due to poor infrastructure. This has created problems for public health officials and healthcare professionals who want to react quickly in situations where time is a key factor in treatment. “
The eVTOL fixed-wing aircraft from Wingcopter is ideal in many regions: Since Wingcopter set a speed record in 2018, it has only improved its flight endurance and also shows the resilience of Wingcopter in strong winds or other extreme weather conditions.
Miriam McNabb is editor-in-chief of DRONELIFE and CEO of JobForDrones, a marketplace for professional drone services, and a fascinating observer of the emerging drone industry and the regulatory environment for drones. Author of over 3,000 articles focusing on the commercial drone space, Miriam is an international speaker and recognized figure in the industry. Miriam graduated from the University of Chicago and has over 20 years experience in high-tech sales and marketing for new technologies.
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