MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif., - Matternet has announced it has reached a major milestone in the FAA's Type Certification process for Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS). After meeting rigorous FAA requirements, the Matternet M2 drone system is approved to start Durability and Reliability (D&R) testing, one of the final steps to be granted Type Certification.
Achieving Type Certification will mean that the Matternet M2 system has been deemed airworthy by the FAA and is eligible to be used by commercial air carriers. Approval to start D&R testing is a major milestone in the Type Certification process for the Matternet M2, and for the Type Certification of UAS in general. This milestone means that Matternet has met the rigorous requirements of the FAA for documenting and controlling the build process of the M2, as well as gained approval for the certification and test plans.
"We are moving efficiently through the Type Certification process and it's because of Matternet's aviation mindset and focus on safety and quality," said Andreas Raptopoulos, CEO of Matternet. "The Matternet M2 has been purpose-built for its mission of urban medical delivery, combining solid engineering, years of flight experience, and the safety and security required for medical logistics."
With a few exceptions, only certified aircraft can be used in Part 135 operations, such as UPS Flight Forward. Matternet has been a partner of UPS since March 2019, and in October 2019, its technology enabled the first Standard Part 135 drone airline--UPS Flight Forward. Once Type Certification has been achieved by Matternet, the company and UPS will be able to scale operations at an even faster pace.
Matternet has been operating in the U.S. since August 2018. In partnership with UPS and WakeMed Health in Raleigh, NC, it has completed more than 1,850 deliveries (3,700 flights) of lab samples to date. Earlier this year, Matternet unveiled its new Matternet Station, an intuitive user interface for sending and receiving medical payloads, and a safe and secure drone portal for hospital campuses. Most recently, Matternet technology enabled the first contactless delivery to fight COVID-19 with UPS, transporting items from CVS to The Villages in Florida, the largest U.S. retirement community in the U.S.