Wingcopter contracted for US medical deliveries

January 25, 2022  - By
Photo: Wingcopter

Photo: Wingcopter

German drone-delivery company Wingcopter has signed a commercial agreement with Spright worth US$16 million to enable UAV medical deliveries.

Spright is a subsidiary of American air medical service provider Air Methods. Under the agreement, Spright is acquiring a fleet of Wingcopter’s flagship delivery drone, the Wingcopter 198, to meet the increasing demand for medical drone deliveries throughout the United States.

The contract makes Wingcopter the exclusive provider of fixed-wing electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) delivery-drone technology to Spright. Spright, in turn, becomes exclusive provider of maintenance, repair and overhaul for the Wingcopter 198 to third parties in the United States.

Drone Division Launched

Spright was launched in July 2020 as the new drone division of Air Methods to improve healthcare access and minimize supply challenges for customers across the United States. To this end, Spright is creating a drone-based, U.S. healthcare-specific delivery network leveraging an existing infrastructure of more than 300 bases, serving hundreds of hospitals across 48 states in predominantly rural areas.

The agreement further strengthens the strategic partnership between the two companies, announced in August 2021. Spright is closely supporting Wingcopter in its Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) UAS type-certification process, leveraging Spright’s aviation experience operating FAA 121 and 135 air carriers, its existing Part 135 certificate (on-demand air service) and safety management system program.

Spright is collaborating with Hutchinson Regional Health System in Hutchinson, Kansas, for initial tests, and plans to expand the service beyond Kansas with additional strategic medical projects later this year.

The Wingcopter fleet will increase healthcare access across rural and underserved communities by enabling instant and on-demand delivery of vital medical supplies, medications, vaccines, blood and lab samples between medical facilities. It will also improve quality of care for patients with faster turn-around time of lab samples and more targeted treatments for patients.

Finally, the electrically powered Wingcopter cargo drones will reduce the medical industry’s carbon footprint, contributing to greener and more sustainable supply chains with faster and more predictable delivery times.

Wingcopter and Spright will showcase the Wingcopter 198 delivery drone and provide an opportunity to meet executives of both companies at the logistics tech conference Manifest in Las Vegas Jan. 25-27.

About the Author: Tracy Cozzens

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.