By Chris Stonor
German drone delivery company, Wingcopter, and Spright, a subsidiary of leading American air medical service provider Air Methods, announced a new commercial agreement today worth more than USD16 million, reports a press release.
The release says, “As part of the deal, Spright is acquiring a large fleet of Wingcopter’s new flagship delivery drone, the Wingcopter 198, to meet the increasing demand for medical drone delivery solutions throughout the United States.”
And goes on, “The contract makes Wingcopter the exclusive provider of fixed wing eVTOL delivery drone technology to Spright for use within its United States operations. Spright, in turn, becomes the exclusive provider of Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRO) for the Wingcopter 198 to third parties in the USA, an ideal fit thanks to its available infrastructure across the country.”
Spright was launched in July, 2020 as the new drone division of Air Methods to improve healthcare access and minimise supply challenges for customers across the US. The company is creating a drone-based, healthcare-specific delivery network in the U.S leveraging an existing infrastructure of more than 300 bases, serving hundreds of hospitals, across 48 states in predominantly rural areas.
Meanwhile, after a previous strategic partnership with Wingcopter announced in August, 2021, Spright is closely supporting the company in its FAA UAS type-certification process, leveraging the Spright team’s extensive aviation experience operating both FAA 121 and 135 air carriers.
The company is collaborating with Hutchinson Regional Health System, in Hutchinson, Kansas, for initial trials, and plans to expand the service beyond Kansas with additional medical projects later this year.
The Wingcopter fleet will increase healthcare access across rural and under-served communities by delivering vital medical supplies, medications, vaccines, blood and lab samples between facilities. It will also improve quality of care for patients due to faster turn-around time of lab samples and more targeted treatments for patients.
Joseph Resnik, President of Spright, commented, “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.”
Tom Plümmer, Co-founder and CEO of Wingcopter, added, “We are proud to enable large-scale drone delivery across the United States with this partnership. The projected compound annual growth rate (CAGR) for the drone delivery market of more than 50 percent to a total volume of almost USD40 billion in 2030, underlines the rapid adoption of eVTOL technology for last-mile logistics.”
Wingcopter and Spright will showcase the Wingcopter 198 delivery drone and offer an opportunity to meet C-level executives of both companies in person to discuss ways of collaboration or investment opportunities, at this weeks’s logistics tech conference, Manifest, in Las Vegas.
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