Wingcopter, a German manufacturer and operator of delivery drones, has announced a new partnership with ZAL Center of Applied Aeronautical Research GmbH to develop a sustainable, hydrogen-based propulsion system for its delivery drones. The goal is to refit the Wingcopter 198, which currently runs on battery power, to fly even more efficiently and with longer range, while still remaining emission-free. The partnership will explore the potential of green hydrogen and the use of compressed gaseous hydrogen in combination with a fuel cell, which has already been used successfully in ZAL’s own ZALbatros hydrogen drone.

The modification of the Wingcopter will take place at ZAL’s Fuel Cell Lab in Hamburg, with the aim of preserving the drone’s unique flight capabilities while incorporating the new hydrogen propulsion system. This development showcases Wingcopter’s commitment to expanding sustainable aviation and creates a potential avenue for increasing the capabilities of its drones. The partnership between Wingcopter and ZAL aligns well with ZAL’s values, as the organization seeks to create innovative solutions for sustainable aviation of all aircraft.

Wingcopter’s CEO, Tom Plümmer, said “We are happy to now explore technical possibilities in the field of hydrogen propulsion together with the ZAL experts and then put the best concept into practice.” Meanwhile, Roland Gerhards, CEO of ZAL GmbH, adds, “With our expertise, we want to convert the Wingcopter to hydrogen and thus strengthen the Hamburg UAM network Windrove with another flagship project.”

As an all-electric delivery drone provider specializing in improving medical supply chains and logistics, Wingcopter has already demonstrated an immense potential impact in improving and saving lives worldwide. The company’s investors include a range of organizations such as REWE Group, Salvia, XAI technologies, and Hessen Kapital III, among others. Meanwhile, ZAL is one of the world’s most modern research facilities for aviation, offering state-of-the-art infrastructure for joint research and development. With this partnership, the two organizations are poised to make strides in the aerial mobility industry, creating more sustainable and efficient solutions for the future.

Why it’s important: This partnership between Wingcopter and ZAL to develop a sustainable hydrogen-based propulsion system for delivery drones demonstrates Wingcopter’s vision for expanding the capabilities of delivery drones with alternate fuel types and increasing performance and efficiency based on mission requirements. Through the partnership, the two companies are positioned to make an immediate impact on the future of sustainable aerial logistics, and bring new innovations in propulsion to the industry.

Posted by Benji