UPS Selects Drone Company for Package Delivery Service
Thursday, March 26, 2020 | Comments

UPS said it would collaborate with German drone maker Wingcopter to develop the next generation of package delivery drones for a variety of use cases in the United States and internationally. Wingcopter’s unmanned aerial system (UAS) technology can deliver a variety of goods over long distances in multiple international settings, the companies said.

“Drone delivery is not a one-size-fits-all operation,” said Bala Ganesh, vice president of the UPS advanced technology group. “Our collaboration with Wingcopter helps pave the way for us to start drone delivery service in new use cases. UPS Flight Forward is building a network of technology partners to broaden our unique capability to serve customers and extend our leadership in drone delivery.”

The companies will work toward earning regulatory certification for a Wingcopter unmanned aircraft to make commercial delivery flights in the United States. It also is a critical step toward building a diverse fleet of drones with varying capabilities to meet even more potential customer needs.

The Wingcopter drones feature vertical takeoffs and landings in tight spaces, transitioning to efficient, high-speed horizontal flight enabling ranges suitable for a variety of uses. These capabilities will allow UPS to begin developing solutions that, if approved, will go well beyond the healthcare and retail industries to solve long-standing challenges for high-tech, industrial manufacturing, hospitality, entertainment and other customers.

Wingcopter has participated in numerous beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS) projects and for diverse customers around the world, from commercial factory-to-factory deliveries to life-saving humanitarian projects and emergency medical supply. For example, Wingcopter delivered insulin to an Irish island in the North Sea that is frequently cut off from the mainland due to bad weather.

UPS last year began operating commercial drone delivery flights in the UPS network, starting with delivery service at WakeMed’s flagship hospital and campus in Raleigh, North Carolina. Since then, the company has delivered thousands of medical samples via drones, supplementing a ground courier service.

Last September, UPS received the U.S. government’s Standard Part 135 certification to operate a drone airline and completed drone deliveries under the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Part 107 rules within the FAA’s Integration Pilot Program.

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