Wingcopter has taken a big step forward in the field of parcel delivery drones, with the German manufacturer preparing to launch a drone that can deliver three parcels to three different destinations in one flight.
Dubbed the Wingcopter 198, the unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), similar to the company’s previous designs, is capable of fully automated operation in suitable conditions and is only not applicable in extreme weather conditions, DroneDJ reports.
While other drones have to return to the point of origin after each package, the 198’s biggest advantage over its competitors may be its ability to deliver up to three packages to three different destinations in a single flight.
This could make the now still embryonic drone parcel service much more economical and efficient.
Of course, these unmanned aerial vehicles will not yet be able to deliver large and heavy parcels, and the Wingcopter 198 has a maximum payload of just 6 kilograms, which means it can fly 75 kilometres with a fully charged battery. If the load carried is only 1 kilogram, the flight distance increases to 95 kilometres.
The aircraft will be equipped as standard with the ADS-B system and FLARM collision warning system known from conventional aircraft, as well as Remote ID for remote identification of UAVs. They will also be equipped with several optical sensors supported by artificial intelligence for autonomous obstacle avoidance.
The Wingcopter 198 will be equipped with a completely new ground control software, based on the company’s existing systems, optimised for commercial operations, allowing one operator to be responsible for up to 10 aircraft and 30 packages at a time. Series production will start soon, and pre-booking is now open for €1,000 per unit.
Wingcopter has previously been contracted by the UPS fast mail company to pilot the machines, the main obstacle being the lack of regulatory certification and public confidence in such systems, rather than the level of development of the UAVs, which are capable of covering distances sufficient to cross large cities with a substantial load.