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The best of both worlds

TU Darmstadt is unveiling the Wingcopter 178 at CeBIT 2017, a robust, powerful and versatile hybrid drone that combines the advantages of both multicopters and fixed-wing aircraft.

02 Feb. 2017
TU Darmstadt WingCopter

Unmanned systems are clearly topping the bill at this year’s CeBIT in Hannover, Germany, and of course drones are a prime example. As legislators rush to put in place appropriate regulations, tech-heads are primarily drawn to the science and technology. At CeBIT 2017, both parties can explore the very latest developments in unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). The "Global Event for Digital Business" also caters to end consumers, of course, by highlighting business application scenarios. One perfect example is the Wingcopter 178, the culmination of four years of research and development, which TU Darmstadt is unveiling to the public at this year’s fair.

What makes Wingcopter 178 so special is its hybrid design, which combines the features of a multicopter with those of a fixed-wing aircraft. This means the Wingcopter is capable of vertical take-off and landing but can also achieve longer flight times, thus extending its range beyond that of conventional multicopters. To unite these advantages, the team had to develop a much more efficient (and now patented) tilting rotor mechanism. This allows the drone to switch smoothly and safely between multicopter and fixed-wing modes – in a matter of seconds. The brand new aerodynamic design and innovative pivoting arms also ensure continuously stable flight, even at high speeds and in adverse weather conditions. Take-off and landing are still easily controlled from a tablet, while a ground control station ensures autonomous and intuitive control on long flights.