For two years we have been working in our company on the approval process and the approval of drone flights beyond visual line of sight. With today's handing over of the certification by the President of the Regional Council in Stuttgart, Susanne Bay, German Copters is the first company in Europe to receive approval for the transport of medical samples with drones in complex flight environments in accordance with EASA regulations.
Right now, many questions are being asked about artificial intelligence (AI). The topic is hyped and is worth a headline in the media every day. We have been dealing with AI since the late 1980s.
We have sharpened our business again, implemented new workflows and software systems and redesigned a website (in-house) for the upcoming new, large, powerful, exciting, innovative, exhausting, planned and announced tasks.
If goods are to be transported with drones, this is not so easy compared to cars. With drones, the space for transport goods is limited, the aerodynamics and center of gravity must be right and the performance of the drone should not be affected. Many things can be calculated, but in the end it is always better if all parameters are tested in flight. Not everything went as quickly as planned, but the cooperation with Germandrones GmbH has worked great so far.
A month ago we flew our drones parallel to a helicopter, but the safety concept and the flight organization worked perfectly. The film produced is now online. Thanks again to Uplink GmbH for the job.
Rarely have we implemented such a complex flight organization. There were previously precise stipulations on flight corridors, on communication with the emergency services on the ground and in the air and which aircraft is allowed to move in which area at what time. If professionals work in every unit, then it just has to work perfectly and very effectively.
We are always amazed by the creativity and the technical solutions of the drone developers in Germany. For years we have looked at many drones and solutions that we believe can help us with our task. It is important for us that the drone fits into our toolbox as a tool. Technical gimmicks won't help us if the application we need is just a waste product squeezed between two wings. We have already successfully evaluated the Germandrones drone. At Phoenix-Wings we are already more than impressed after the kick-off. We have great expectations and hope that we may be able to integrate the drone into our fleet of drones as early as next year. It is not easy to find the right pearls for us among all the marketing thunder. But they really exist.
In the last three years, German Copters has developed evaluation methods and profitability calculations in a kind of guideline that provide more clarity and security when implementing projects in the field of medical logistics. This guide, developed specifically for customers, helps to shorten projects and avoid bad investments.
German Copters CMO Holger Schulze had the honour of writing some sections for the book "Unmanned Aerial Systems in Medical Care". The book gives some suggestions on the challenges to be faced when setting up drone-based logistics. The book provides a good overview of barriers to the implementation of innovations, the legal framework, the technical possibilities and possible operating concepts
The past season of the Dresdner Eislöwen was not only very successful in sport, but also highly professional in the areas of economic and sports management. So that this can stay that way and also because the club is really important to us, German Copters has signed an extended sponsorship contract for the coming season. German Copters will also present the penalties in the new season with a small video on the scoreboard. We will also take on the player partnership and feature the "bad boy" player with the most penalties. We as German Copters are looking forward to further cooperation.
Photogrammetry is a powerful tool when it comes to creating 3D digital models. But it's not that simple after all. To do this, we need the right drone, a perfect trajectory, a professional camera, the right software and a well-thought-out workflow. We have been working on improving our results for several years. That's why we're always testing new setups and optimizing our workflows. And it doesn't always have to be the big and expensive drone to achieve a good result.
Helios Global Health and German Copters signed a partnership agreement on the occasion of the presentation of the "Health Cube" concept in Leipzig. The "Health Cube" concept from Helios is primarily based on the idea of increasingly decentralized health care with small care centers using telemedicine. In the near future, German Copters will take over the transport between the medical facilities with its drones.
After intensive consideration, the shareholders of German Copters DLS GmbH have decided to relocate the company's headquarters to Stuttgart. In the last two years, the drone business has developed very well, while at the same time becoming more complex in terms of legal and technical requirements. The conditions must be right so that German Copters can continue to develop successfully in the future. The best conditions for German copters were found in Baden-Württemberg. The Dresden location will remain, but will be operated as a branch.
The use of an air situation image should not only be mandatory for drone flights in the "special category". We have noticed that if only one air observer is deployed, there is often not enough time available Bringing the drone back to the ground quickly enough. Certainly there is the possibility to lower the drone on the spot at high speed. But it is safer if the pilot has an image of the situation in the air. This allows the pilot to make a decision much earlier and land his aircraft in a safe place.
On average, German Copters carried out two safety landings on flight days. The landings were initiated so early that when the approaching helicopter flew over, the drone had already been on the ground for about a minute. Based on the experiences made, German Copters would welcome it if, firstly, at least for flights above 120 meters, an air situation picture became mandatory for the pilot and, secondly, that the ADAC equipped its helicopters with FLARM and ADS-B out and thus became more visible in the lower airspace .
The topic of "training and education" is becoming increasingly important at German Copters. The procedures for the implementation of drone BVLOS flights are becoming more and more complex, the legal requirements are constantly changing, experience from flight operations must be incorporated into the training documents and practical exercises on the simulator or in the real world are important for the implementation of theory in the practice.
In the near future, the requirements of a UAS pilot will be comparable to those of a pilot in manned aviation. That is why German Copters proposes the development of training for the profession of "UAS pilot / UAS operator". The A2 long-distance pilot's certificate alone is no longer sufficient for the implementation of the tasks.
In the past few weeks, German Copter has continued to work on the automation of flight planning for drone flights. This should make the use of drones even more effective. As a result, this means that times for a change of location are reduced, flight times increased and tasks can be implemented more precisely. The implementation in daily practice has already shown that the effectiveness of drone operations could be increased by around 28%.
Combatting animal diseases with the help of our drones was now also a topic on MDR television. The film team filmed us at work, and we answered questions. With another drone, we produced some film sequences ourselves, which were then also shown in the television report.
Today a nice article was published in the Sächsische Zeitung about swine fever and how we help to fight it with our drones.
From December 2021 to mid-January 2022, we searched an area of 18,000 ha in Saxony and covered a VLOS flight distance of 1,400 km.
German Copters uses drones to help fight African swine fever. In December alone we searched over 140 km2. During the search, we flew over 1,000 km VLOS and documented 40 sites. We were able to search this large area, not only because we have experienced pilots, but because flight planning, process control and documentation are largely automated.
For us as German Copters, 2021 was an exciting but very successful year. Even if Corona was raging and we were affected by it, we were able to more than double our sales. We found new employees, worked on new projects, invested in technology, and signed sponsorship agreements with interesting sports clubs in the region. The planning for the coming year is almost complete. If we only successfully complete 20% of the planned jobs in 2022, we will probably double our sales again in the coming year. It remains exciting.
But now it is time to pause for a moment, use the holidays together with the family for some rest and recharge your batteries. We also think of our employees, customers, partners and friends. Health is most important. We wish everyone a Merry Christmas and please stay safe.