Wingcopter And ZAL Collaborate On “Hydrogen-Powered Delivery Drones”

Ger­man-based Wing­copter and The ZAL Cen­tre of Applied Aero­nau­ti­cal Research announced this week a col­lab­o­ra­tion to explore and devel­op hydro­gen-pow­ered deliv­ery drones, reports a press release.

The release explains, “By refit­ting the bat­tery-pow­ered Wing­copter 198 to run on hydro­gen, the plan is for the drone to not only con­tin­ue to fly emis­sion-free in the future, but to become even more pow­er­ful.” It con­tin­ues, “The Wing­copter already achieves high­er ranges and speeds than most com­peti­tors’ mod­els thanks to the added lift of its wings and its aero­dy­nam­ic design. How­ev­er, hydro­gen propul­sion could ensure even longer flight times and thus enable cor­re­spond­ing­ly greater dis­tances for dif­fer­ent deliv­ery appli­ca­tions.”

This mod­i­fi­ca­tion of the Wing­copter is to take place at ZAL‘s ‘Fuel Cell Lab’ in Ham­burg. In the past, ZAL engi­neers have already been able to achieve a flight dura­tion of over two hours with the com­pa­ny’s own “ZAL­ba­tros” hydro­gen drone. This was achieved by employ­ing com­pressed gaseous hydro­gen in com­bi­na­tion with a fuel cell. A com­pa­ra­ble tech­nol­o­gy is to be used in the Wing­copter.

Tom Plüm­mer

Tom Plüm­mer, Wing­copter co-Founder and CEO, com­ment­ed, “We have always want­ed the Wing­copter to be able to fly even fur­ther. How­ev­er, we cat­e­gor­i­cal­ly ruled out the instal­la­tion of a con­ven­tion­al com­bus­tion engine right from the start with a view to the envi­ron­ment and cli­mate change. We are hap­py to now explore tech­ni­cal pos­si­bil­i­ties in the field of hydro­gen propul­sion togeth­er with the ZAL experts and then put the best con­cept into prac­tice.”

Roland Ger­hards, CEO of ZAL, added, “With Wing­copter as our part­ner, we’re not only impressed by their drones’ flight per­for­mance, but also by a clear vision of how urban air mobil­i­ty and espe­cial­ly drone deliv­ery can help improve peo­ple’s lives. This aligns per­fect­ly with ZAL’s val­ues. With our exper­tise, we want to con­vert the Wing­copter to hydro­gen and thus strength­en the ‘Ham­burg UAM Net­work Win­drove’ with anoth­er flag­ship project.”


Cov­er­ing an area of more than 26,000 m², The ZAL Cen­tre for Applied Aero­nau­ti­cal Research, has 600 employ­ees hail­ing from over thir­ty indus­tri­al and sci­en­tif­ic organ­i­sa­tions and is one of the most advanced hubs for joint research and devel­op­ment.

The heart of the research cen­tre is the ZAL team of around 60 peo­ple whose task is to cre­ate ide­al con­di­tions for applied avi­a­tion research. In addi­tion, a ded­i­cat­ed Research & Tech­nol­o­gy Group of 40 sci­en­tists and engi­neers work “on inno­va­tion projects, while sup­port­ing part­ners to devel­op tech­no­log­i­cal solu­tions.”

For more infor­ma­tion


eVTOL Insights is part of the Industry Insights Group. Registered in the UK. Company No: 14395769