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FAA approves airworthiness criteria for Wingcopter delivery drone

May 12, 2022  - By
Photo: Wingcopter

Photo: Wingcopter

The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has issued the Special Class Airworthiness Criteria for the Wingcopter 198 U.S. unmanned aircraft. This approval marks a critical milestone in the certification process of Wingcopter’s flagship delivery drone in the United States.

Wingcopter is a German manufacturer of  fixed-wing unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) and provider of drone delivery services, focused on optimizing medical supply chains, as well as last-mile logistics of packages, tools, spare parts, food, and groceries. 

With the Airworthiness Criteria, the FAA defines technological requirements under title 14, Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR), § 21.17(b) that must be met to have an aircraft type-certified for regular commercial operations in the United States.

The Wingcopter 198 is an electric vertical-takeoff-and-landing (eVTOL) drone engineered to meet stringent safety standards. In its development, Wingcopter was able to leverage the operational experience of more than five years with the company’s first delivery drone type in various geographical settings, from the Arctics to the Middle Eastern desert and from remote islands in the South Pacific to San Diego Bay in the United States.

Once type-certified, Wingcopter will be able to fly conventional routes through airspace and over populated areas, ultimately providing the basis for scaling commercial drone delivery operations across the United States that will help save and improve lives, the company said.

The certification is expected to have a positive impact on Wingcopter’s further certification efforts such as with the National Civil Aviation Agency (ANAC) in Brazil or the Japan Civil Aviation Bureau (JCAB).

Since applying for the Special Class Type Certificate in March 2020, Wingcopter has collaborated closely with the FAA. The issuance allows Wingcopter to focus its development efforts even more on what the FAA deems necessary for this particular aircraft to receive certification quickly and efficiently.

“We are proud to be among the first delivery drone companies worldwide to ever get their Airworthiness Criteria approved by the FAA,” said Tom Plümmer, co-founder and CEO of Wingcopter. “This is a very important milestone for us, not only in our Type Certification Process in the United States, but also for our international expansion efforts and for achieving our vision of building logistical highways in the sky. I would like to thank my team as well as the FAA for all the effort and great collaboration to reach this milestone.”

About the Author:


Senior Editor Tracy Cozzens joined GPS World magazine in 2006. She also is editor of GPS World’s newsletters and the sister website Geospatial Solutions. She has worked in government, for non-profits, and in corporate communications, editing a variety of publications for audiences ranging from federal government contractors to teachers.

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