Cargo drone maker Windracers secures additional funding for delivery trials

Windracers cargo drone delivery

Cargo drone manufacturer Windracers, which counts the British Royal Mail among its partners, has won its third round of funding from the Future Flight challenge at UK Research and Innovation (UKRI). The fresh capital will help Windracers to further middle-mile drone delivery trials and regulatory work with the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA).

Windracers has already conducted a series of trials in partnership with Royal Mail, with the aim of establishing more than 50 new postal drone routes over the next three years. While earlier test flights were conducted on the Shetland Islands and Orkney Islands, the new trials will be extended across more locations in Scotland.

Windracers’ collaboration with the CAA, meanwhile, focuses on developing a safe and robust regulatory environment for autonomous flight. 

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At the same time, Windracers is also leading a project called “Protecting Environments with UAV Swarms.” Backed by NERC British Antarctic Survey and Lancashire Fire and Rescue, this project aims to demonstrate how swarms of large drones can be used to efficiently carry out Antarctic research and fight fires in some of the most challenging environments on the planet.

Charles Scales, CEO at Windracers, says:

We are extremely proud to be among this world-class group of companies that are developing the technology and infrastructure for autonomous flight. The UK has a long history of innovation in aviation and boasts a highly competent and pragmatic regulatory authority. Combined with recognition and support from the UK Government, we are very well placed to lead the industrialization of drone technology worldwide.

Windracers’ twin-engine ULTRA drone has a wingspan of 10 meters and is capable of carrying a payload of 100 kg over 1,000 km. Designed to withstand difficult weather conditions, the drone incorporates a high-reliability autopilot system provided by Distributed Avionics. Scales stresses that the entire aircraft has been developed using a Zero Single Point of Failure philosophy.

In a testament to the potential of logistics drones, Royal Mail’s ambition is to deploy a fleet of more than 500 Windracers drones servicing all corners of the UK.

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