Wingcopter begins type certification for composite drone in Japan_Overseas information_news_China composite information network

Wingcopter begins type certification for composite drone in Japan

   Date:2024-04-15     Source:CompositesWorld     Hits:72     Comment:0    
Core tips:Contended to be the first foreign company’s drone to be accepted for type certification, the Wingcopter’s approval would enable commercial BVLOS operations in populated areas.

Source | Wingcopter

With the support of ITOCHU Corp. (Tokyo, Japan), Wingcopter (Weiterstadt, Germany), a company that designs and manufactures unmanned electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) delivery drones, has applied and received acceptance for opening the type certification process of its Wingcopter 198 delivery drone in Japan. This is said to mark the first time a foreign company’s drone and the first time a fixed-wing drone has been accepted under the unmanned aircraft Class-1 type certification by the Japan Civil Aviation Bureau (JCAB) of the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism.

SUAS News /confirm/is that the “Wingcopter is a universal, all-electric composite [carbon and glass fiber] tiltrotor aircraft capable of carrying and operating a wide range of payloads,” making it ideal for search and rescue, monitoring, inspection, survey, mapping and delivery operations. 

Upon successful type certification, Wingcopter will be granted permission to conduct flights equivalent to Level 4. Level 4 refers to flights beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS) in populated areas, significantly expanding the application range of drones. In particular, ITOCHU and Wingcopter aim to use the Wingcopter 198 in Japan to establish drone delivery networks and services that can provide an air bridge to delivering vital and urgently needed goods quickly and in an environmentally friendly manner. With its aging population and secluded landscapes, including many inhabited islands, the country is considered one of the world’s largest markets for drone deliveries in the future. 

ITOCHU, which is a long-time business partner and investor in Wingcopter, will conduct several proof of concepts under special permits until the expected type certification. In May 2023, ITOCHU and Wingcopter successfully conducted a verification experiment for the implementation of medical blood product transportation by Wingcopter’s delivery drones, the first of its kind in Japan.


In addition to the type certification efforts in Japan, Wingcopter is currently undergoing the FAA type certification process in the U.S., which will enable it to unlock North American commercial potential as well.

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