Wednesday 22 June 2022

Wingcopter prepares 12,000 cargo drones for world's largest deployment


German company Wingcopter has signed a deal to roll out 12,000 of its long-range, triple-drop delivery drones across Africa over the next five years, in what promises to be the largest commercial drone deployment ever attempted.
The Wingcopter 198 is a handsome machine, with a wingspan of 198 cm (78 inches) and the ability to carry up to 6 kilograms (13.2 lb) of cargo. It's a clever design featuring eight propellers mounted on arms extending forward and back from the wings. The outer four props are lift-only, for VTOL purposes, and lock themselves into an aerodynamic configuration during cruise. The inner front two props are capable of tilting 90 degrees forward to provide horizontal thrust, and the inner rear two props also tilt – but primarily simply to fold their props back and get out of the way of the airflow from the front two.

It'll cruise at up to 144 km/h (89 mph) for distances up to 110 km (68 miles), in a broad range of weather conditions. If you've got multiple deliveries to make, it can carry up to three packages per flight, hovering and lowering them to the ground at the drop points. They're designed for fully autonomous operation, or alternatively an operator can use Wingcopter's control station software to monitor or pilot up to 10 drones at once.

The Wingcopter 198 uses an 8-prop VTOL/fast cruise system with two pairs of innovative tilting props

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