Wingcopter and UPS Flight Forward (UPSFF) are collaborating to develop package delivery drones.
The companies will work toward earning regulatory certification for a Wingcopter unmanned aircraft to make commercial delivery flights in the United States, according to a news release. This partnership represents “a critical step toward building a diverse fleet of drones with varying capabilities to meet even more potential customer needs.”
The Wingcopter drone is capable of vertical takeoff and landing in tight spaces and transitioning to high-speed horizontal flight. Its patented tilt-rotor mechanism enables a seamless transition between the two drone modes—multicopter for hovering and fixed-wing for low-noise forward flight. The aerodynamic drone provides stability even in harsh weather conditions.
UPSFF began operating commercial drone delivery flights in the UPS network last year, beginning with delivery service at WakeMed’s flagship hospital and campus in Raleigh, North Carolina. The company has delivered thousands of medical samples via drones. UPSFF also announced plans to establish drone delivery services on several health care campuses and is exploring using drones to deliver retail, prescriptions and medical products in residential settings.
“Drone delivery is not a one-size-fits-all operation,” said Bala Ganesh, vice president of the UPS Advanced Technology Group, according to the release. “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.”