German drone manufacturer Wingcopter has introduced its latest drone, the Wingcopter 198, the world's first triple-drop delivery drone with safety and performance at the heart of it. The new drone also opens up opportunities for BLVOS, long-range surveying, monitoring, and inspection operations.
Jonathan Hesselbarth, CTO of Wingcopter added:
We applied the many years of experience with the Wingcopter 178, the model that literally enabled us to take off as a company, and applied it to the development of the Wingcopter 198, optimizing every design aspect for ease of use, efficiency and safety. The result is what we believe to be the most advanced, versatile and efficient delivery drone solution in its category.
Out of the eight motors, four are rotatable for use in fixed-wing mode, while all are used when the drone is taking off and landing. The high number of motors built-in to the drone means flying with as little as four in multi-copter mode and two in fixed-wing mode.
The Wingcopter 198 can hold payloads up to 6kg and a maximum range of 75km. 3kg equals a range of around 85km, 1kg to a range of approximately 95km, and no payload to about 110km. The drone is also able to withstand average winds of 15m/s and gusts of 20m/s.
Safety & reliability
To make the Wingcopter 198 is ready for long-distance and beyond visual line of sight operations, a redundant flight control has been added to ensure there is uninterrupted control over the aircraft.
The Wingcopter 198 is also built with fail-safes in mind, featuring eight motors, eight ESCs, and two batteries, allowing for any number of things to go wrong with no effect on the drone.
To ensure the drone doesn't come in to contact or get close to other aircraft, it is fitted with an array of cameras and sensors backed by AI to understand its surroundings and dynamically navigate around threats. Wingcopter 198 is also equipped with an ADS-B sensor, FLARM, and Remote ID, making it perfect for global operations.
The drone is connected to an always-online connection using 3G, 4G, or 5G networks, a must for BVLOS and long-distance operations. The drone also connects to the Iridium satellite network consisting of 66 crosslinked satellites providing coverage to 100% of the world.
Wingcopter has created its own control station software enabling a single pilot to control up to 10 drones at a time from a remote location. The software also makes flight and mission planning as simple and straight forward as possible.
The Wingcopter 198's components all send data to a secure database for efficient maintenance management, allowing teams to understand what's happening with their drones before going in to repair them.
Ease & efficiency of operations
The Wingcopter 198 falls at a level four on the drone autonomy scale, meaning there's a reduction in the amount of human interaction needed to get the drone in the air and flying. This autonomy allows for quick setup and training as well as efficient and stable operations.
The mission planning software, as mentioned above, integrates an elevation and airspace database to make mission planning quicker, safer and more efficient.
The dual battery system is designed to reduce time on the ground with built-in handles and a simple quick swap mechanism. Both batteries are 814Wh allowing for up to 90 minutes flights in fixed-wing mode.