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Wingcopter raises €40 million from EU to scale up ‘new era for drone delivery’

German drone solutions startup Wingcopter announced today that it has received €40 million in funding from the European Investment Bank (EIB) to scale up its services and ramp up production of its latest model.

According to the developers, the Wingcopter 198 ushers in a “new era for drone delivery”. Additions to the latest version of Wingcopter’s aircraft, “the world’s first triple-drop delivery drone,” include the delivery of up to three packages to multiple locations during a single flight.

In addition, a single operator can fly up to 10 units simultaneously and out of line of sight. The model also features an AI-based visual detect-and-avoid solution and smart precision landing capabilities.

The Wingcopter 198 has a wingspan of, you guessed it, 198 cm, and stretches 152 cm from front to tail. It can carry up to 6 kg and with a load of 5 kg it has a range of 75 km. Without any charge, it can fly up to 110 km.

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The drone’s default cruising speed is 100 km/h, but it has a maximum speed of 144 km/h. In addition, the developers say it can withstand strong winds thanks to a patented tilt rotor technology – 15 m/s average, 20 m/s gusts.

Creating jobs at home and abroad

The €40 million investment is supported by the European Commission’s InvestEU program under its sustainable infrastructure window, and the funds are provided as a quasi-equity investment, meaning it is positioned between equity and debt.

Of course, the EIB, the lending arm of the European Union, doesn’t spend on projects simply because it has cool technology. It also looks at wider social and environmental benefits when deciding whether or not to fund a project.

“Our goal is also to improve lives by creating many jobs – in R&D and manufacturing at our headquarters in Europe, as well as in the countries where we provide services, where we train and qualify local youth to operate our drone delivery networks,” said co-founder and CEO Tom Plümmer.

Woman maintains the Wingcopter drone