ZAL and Wingcopter co-operate on hydrogen-powered delivery drones

6 April 2023
Hesse-based drone manufacturer joins forces with Hamburg Center for Applied Aeronautics Research

The Wingcopter drone manufacturer in the state of Hesse and the Hamburg Center for Applied Aeronautics Research (ZAL) have joined forces to come up with a means of converting delivery drones to green hydrogen, a press release said Wednesday (March 15, 2023). The Weiterstadt-based Wingcopter has developed an efficient, more resilient drone that combines swivelling rotors with aerofoils. 

Harnessing hydrogen for urban air mobility

"Our mission is to bring hydrogen into the air and create innovative solutions for sustainable aviation. The flight performance of Wingcopter's drone is impressive. Our partner also has a clear, compelling vision of how urban air mobility and especially drone deliveries can improve people's lives," said Roland Gerhards, CEO of ZAL GmbH. The partners now hope to increase flight time while maintaining Wingcopter's signature flight capabilities.  ZAL staff can then draw on the experience gained and develop a hydrogen-powered drone.

Advantages of hydrogen propulsion

"We've always wanted the Wingcopter to be able to fly even farther and have mulled the use of fuel cells," said Tom Plümmer, CEO of Wingcopter'. The company delivers medical supplies to remote regions in Africa, Europe and other parts of the world aboard their delivery drone. Wingcopter's drone takes off vertically and then switches to a more efficient, forward flight using pivoting rotors. Zero-emission propulsion with hydrogen could increase its flight range and reach even more far-flung destinations.


Sources and further information

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