Wingcopter Lands Contract with Spright for Medical Drone Delivery in US
by DRONELIFE Staff Writer Ian M. Crosby
German drone delivery pioneer Wingcopter has announced a new commercial agreement with Air Methods subsidiary Spright. The agreement, worth more than US $16 million, will see Spright acquire a large fleet of Wingcopter’s new flagship delivery drone, the Wingcopter 198, in order to meet the increasing demand for medical drone delivery solutions across the country. The deal establishes Wingcopter as the exclusive provider of fixed wing eVTOL delivery drone technology to Spright for operations in the United States. Meanwhile, Spright will become the sole provider of Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRO) for the Wingcopter 198 to US-based third parties.
Launched in 2020 as the new drone division of air medical service provider Air Methods, Spright serves to improve healthcare access across the US by building a drone-based, healthcare-specific delivery network. Utilizing an existing infrastructure of over 300 bases, Spright serves hundreds of hospitals across 48 states in predominantly rural areas.
This new agreement solidifies the strategic partnership formed between the two companies last year. Spright is working closely with Wingcopter in its FAA UAS type-certification process, utilizing the Spright team’s extensive aviation experience operating both FAA 121 and 135 air carriers, its existing Part 135 certificate (on-demand air service), SMS (Safety Management System) Program, and existing relationships with the FAA.
Spright is working alongside Hutchinson Regional Health System for initial tests in Hutchinson, Kansas, with plans to expand the service beyond Kansas with additional strategic medical projects later in the year. Its acquisition of the Wingcopter fleet will serve to further expand healthcare access throughout rural and underserved communities by providing instant, on-demand delivery of vital medical supplies, medications, vaccines, blood, and lab samples, between medical facilities and improving quality of care with faster turn-around time of lab samples and more targeted treatments for patients. The electric Wingcopter cargo drones will also reduce the medical industry’s carbon footprint, contributing to more environmentally friendly and sustainable supply chains with more efficient delivery times.
“We are fortunate to have Wingcopter on board as our aircraft technology partner,” said Spright President Joseph Resnik. “With their industry-leading eVTOL aircraft design, Wingcopter brings a level of maturity needed to address the complex and diverse demands of the US healthcare market. We are confident that our combined strengths will deliver innovative, time-saving solutions to meet the needs of our customers and their communities.”
“This multi-million-dollar commercial agreement with Spright is clear proof that the Wingcopter 198 has a perfect product-market-fit,” explained Tom Plümmer, Co-founder and CEO of Wingcopter. “We are proud to enable large-scale drone delivery across the United States with this strong partnership. The projected compound annual growth rate (CAGR) for the drone delivery market of more than 50 % to a total volume of almost USD 40 billion in 2030 underlines the rapid adoption of eVTOL technology for last-mile logistics. We are happy to be at the forefront of this fast-growing market together with Spright.”
Wingcopter and Spright will display the Wingcopter 198 delivery drone at logistics tech conference Manifest in Las Vegas, with the chance to meet C-level executives of both companies in person. The conference will be held January 25th through 27th, 2022.
Ian attended Dominican University of California, where he received a BA in English in 2019. With a lifelong passion for writing and storytelling and a keen interest in technology, he is now contributing to DroneLife as a staff writer.
Miriam McNabb is the Editor-in-Chief of DRONELIFE and CEO of JobForDrones, a professional drone services marketplace, and a fascinated observer of the emerging drone industry and the regulatory environment for drones. Miriam has penned over 3,000 articles focused on the commercial drone space and is an international speaker and recognized figure in the industry. Miriam has a degree from the University of Chicago and over 20 years of experience in high tech sales and marketing for new technologies.
For drone industry consulting or writing, Email Miriam.
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