Newcomer Tom Plümmer, managing director of the cargo drone manufacturer from Weiterstadt, with the 178 model
Image: Lucas Bäuml
Start-ups build drones and develop battery systems for commercial vehicles. There are also some fintechs in Hesse. Nevertheless, the companies that are working on the future are hardly known. How so?
WIf you want to see the future of aviation, you will find it in a factory building on Weiterstadt Feldstrasse. More than a year ago, a start-up in which large Japanese corporations, American logistics companies and the German supermarket chain Rewe have invested has moved into the gray concrete building in an industrial park near Darmstadt, between the motorway, fields and bus parking lot. In the hall, the employees of Wingcopter, which was founded five years ago by Darmstadt students, manufacture huge civil drones on the assembly line. The 198 model has a wingspan of almost two meters and, with its eight patented rotors, it can fly loads of up to six kilograms a distance of 100 kilometers.
The southern Hessian drone factory was designed for several thousand units per year. But even now that is no longer enough. Wingcopter is to deliver its electrically powered drones all over the world, with 12,000 drones flying to Africa alone in the next five years. “We want to become the world market leader,” announced managing director and co-founder Tom Plümmer a year ago. What sounded extremely ambitious back then now seems realistic. Additional areas for additional factories are currently being sought.