German drone developer Wingcopter announced last week that the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has issued the Special Class Airworthiness Criteria for the Wingcopter 198 US unmanned aircraft, marking a critical milestone in the certification process of its flagship eVTOL delivery drone in the US.
With the Airworthiness Criteria, the FAA defines technological requirements under title 14, Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR), § 21.17(b) that must be met to have an aircraft type-certified for regular commercial operations in the US.
Wingcopter said its 198 drone, designed for commercial and humanitarian delivery missions, was engineered from the ground up to meet stringent safety standards.
In the development, the company was able to leverage the operational experience of more than five years with the company’s first delivery drone type in various geographical settings.
Since applying for the Special Class Type Certificate in March 2020, Wingcopter has collaborated closely with the FAA, allowing the company to focus its development efforts on what the agency deems necessary for this particular aircraft to receive certification quickly and efficiently.
Once type-certified, Wingcopter will be able to fly conventional routes through airspace and over populated areas, providing the basis for scaling commercial drone delivery operations across the US. The certification is also expected to have a positive impact on the company’s certification efforts in Brazil and Japan.
The company is looking for talent in software engineering and hardware development to flight testing, production, sales as well as drone-as-a-service operations.