On the heels of last month raising $22 million in funding, German drone startup Wingcopter has joined Flying Labs Network, an unmanned aerial systems (UAS) project for local cargo drones and long-range operations.
The goal of the project is to use drones, robotics, data and artificial intelligence (AI) to support social change in more than 30 countries across Africa, Asia, Latin America and more including developing beyond the visual line of sight (BVLOS) technology.
Wingcopter offers local Flying Labs technology for the delivery of urgently needed medical goods in hard-to-reach areas, something that has become extremely important during the COVID-19 pandemic. A recent survey from Flying Labs found that there is a demand for delivery drone services in their countries.
In the partnership, Flying Labs will directly access Wingcopter’s delivery drone services and acquire drones at a discounted price.
Currently, Wingcopter is implementing a drone delivery network in Malawi to strengthen its local healthcare supply chains with UNICEF and Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ). The company is also participating in a project called Drone + Data Aid that cooperates with the African Drona and Data Academy to train youth from across the continent in drone operations.
Wingcopter’s 178 Heavy Lift drone provides both one- and two-way delivery, covering distances of up to 74 miles. The drones come equipped with a winch mechanism to lower a package or can land at different destinations and return to its home base to resupply or recharge. Additionally, Wingcopter plans to launch its next generation aircraft in the near future.
In January, the company raised $22 million in funding to strengthen its drone-based logistics platform focused on healthcare, including the distribution of COVID-19 vaccines.