The German airline German Airways orders 17 delivery drones from Wingcopter. Furthermore, you have completed options for up to 115 more. Rostock-Laage Airport is to be used as a test field as part of a development cooperation.
The Zeitfracht Group and German Airways will be among the first companies in the world to use drones commercially in logistics. In a joint declaration of intent with the German manufacturer Wingcopter, the companies have now agreed to purchase 17 Wingcopter 198 transport drones and options to order an additional 115 aircraft in two further tranches by the end of 2023. The aircraft is to be used from the second half of 2024 – initially offshore, for example for the delivery of spare parts to wind farms.
The Zeitfracht Group is already successfully active in this business with its special shipping company OPUS Marine. The use of the delivery drones is correspondingly technically demanding: They must also be able to land on a moving ship with pinpoint accuracy. German Airways and Wingcopter will work closely together to develop this feature.
The Wingcopter will take off from Rostock-Laage Airport, which has also belonged to the Zeitfracht Group since the beginning of the year and offers the Wingcopter development team an ideal environment for extensive test flights as well as space for measurements and the evaluation of the data collected.
As a company with an Air Operator Certificate (AOC), German Airways already fulfills the essential requirements for being able to operate Wingcopter's delivery drones in the "specific category" and later also in the "certified category". In addition, German Airways is also IOSA certified and thus works according to the highest internationally agreed standards of the international aviation authority IATA.
The drones developed by Wingcopter can be loaded with a payload of up to five kilograms and cover a distance of between 75 and 110 kilometers, depending on the load. The aircraft of the company based in Weiterstadt were selected by German Airways because they can fly with particular wind and weather stability and are world leaders in terms of the ratio of payload and range. They take off vertically without the need for additional infrastructure and then move forward horizontally in flight like a normal airplane. With their purely electric drive, the Wingcopter delivery drones also make a contribution to emission-free logistics.
Zeitfracht board member Wolfram Simon-Schröter: “In the Zeitfracht Group we are very creative and always interested in using new technologies in a market-leading manner. From our point of view, the time is now ripe for the commercial use of drones, for example for the delivery of spare parts in offshore wind farms. With German Airways, our Rostock-Laage airport and the experience of our shipping company OPUS in delivery operations on the high seas, we have ideal prerequisites together with Wingcopter to push this technology a giant step forward.”
“We are very pleased to have gained a partner in Zeitfracht who has extraordinary experience in the logistics and aviation sectors. With the planned supply flights to ships and offshore wind farms, we will open up a new, rapidly growing area of application for which the Wingcopter 198 is ideally suited thanks to its high efficiency, even in extreme weather conditions. In addition, the test site and the close cooperation offer the opportunity to jointly develop further promising business areas," adds Tom Plümmer, co-founder and CEO of Wingcopter.