The German manufacturer Wingcopter has signed a contract with Continental Drones Ltd, a subsidiary of Ghanaian and Dubai-based Atlantic Trust Holding, to set up a sub-Saharan parcel delivery network covering 49 African countries. Under the agreement, the German company will build, deliver and operate a total of 12 000 Wingcopter 198 unmanned aerial vehicles over the next five years. The manufacturer said that this will be the largest ever application of drones in the global commercial drone sector.
The idea is that unmanned aerial vehicles will deliver important equipment and packages such as medicines, vaccines and other supplies to remote regions. Tom Plümmer, co-founder and CEO of Wingcopter, said he is convinced that with Continental Drones they will conquer the African drone market and together they will improve the lives of millions of people and save the lives of millions more.
Inadequate infrastructure is one of the biggest obstacles to economic development and improved health care in the African region. The creation of large-scale drone transport networks across African airspace will take logistics in these countries to a new level and help build a whole new transport system much faster and cheaper than paving thousands of kilometres of tarmac.
The Wingcopter 198 has battery and electric propulsion, a range of 75 kilometres with a payload of 5 kilograms, a maximum range of three parcels and a maximum load of 6 kilograms, and a maximum speed of 145 kilometres per hour. Thanks to its patented tilting rotor technology, the drone can take off and land vertically, while flying efficiently and quickly.