German drone delivery company Wingcopter has been growing more and more in the past few months, and most recently has won a $80k USD prize in the Emergency Delivery category of the Lake Kivu Challenge in Rwanda, sponsored by World Bank.
A large part of Wingcopter’s mission to use its patented UAV (unmanned aerial vehicle) technology to assist the world in various humanitarian and commercial applications. Most recently, Wingcopter won the grand prize in the Emergency Delivery Category of the Lake Kivu Flying Competition in Rwanda. The Flying Competition was part of the 2020 African Drone Forum in February, which was hosted by the Rwandan Government. The Forum aimed at showcasing the advances in autonomous drone delivery that can make a significant difference for isolated communities and rural areas across Africa.
Wingcopter’s flight demonstration for the competition included a fully automated delivery of an emergency package from a droneport on the mainland of Africa to offshore Bugarura Island, and a secure return landing. The roundtrip, beyond visual line of sight flight, was 40 kilometers and was completed in 24 minutes of flight time, a drastic reduction compared to over 1hr and 40 minutes by boat. The package drop-off required no landing or human interaction, an attribute to Wingcopter’s innovative winch mechanism.
Notably, Wingcopter had already successfully deployed a similar type of on-demand vaccine delivery to 19 remote villages in the country of Vanuatu on behalf of the local Ministry of Health and supported by UNICECF. In Vanuatu, Wingcopter was able to live saving medicines and vaccines to many villages that are difficult to reach by other means of transport. The average payload for a Wingcopter mission is 3.5 kg.
Why it’s important: Wingcopter has made several significant achievements in the past few months, including a partnership with UPS, a large investment from Corecam Capital, and multiple successful and impactful operations of humanitarian missions. As the company gains more and more traction, providing ample proof of successful and meaningful operations through humanitarian missions, it is making itself one of the world’s top providers for drone delivery. Also notably, Wingcopter is working with UPS on multiple Coronavirus aid projects.