Wing, Walgreens, FedEx, and Sugar Magnolia Partner, Begin Drone Deliveries In Virginia Town Christiansburg
The race to make drone deliveries a reality is heating up with live deliveries in a small Virginia town. Earlier this year, Wing Aviation, a Google affiliate owned by Alphabet, received the first approval from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to perform commercial deliveries via drone.
UPS Flight Forward took a giant leap forward in early October when the U.S. DoT Secretary, Elaine L. Chao, announced that the FAA awarded the company an air carrier and operator certification.
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Google wasted no time taking back the lead, becoming the first company in the United States to deliver a package by drone. The accomplishment is the result of a recent partnership with Walgreens, FedEx, and Sugar Magnolia, involving testing drone delivery in Christiansburg, Virginia. Walgreens customers located in Christiansburg can order from a list with 100+ products and have them delivered via drone.
The initial testing stage includes delivering packages of up to 3 pounds to customers within a 6-mile radius of Wing’s Christiansburg distribution facility called the Nest. The drone leaves the facility and arrives at the specified address. The drone will then hover over the location and instead of landing, lower the package via cable to the customer.
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Testing began on Friday, October 18th. The first delivery was for a Walgreens customer who ordered cough and cold medicine. The second delivery was a FedEx package from Dick’s Sporting Goods to another customer. According to AP, Susie Sensmeier ordered a purple winter vest from Dicks Sporting Goods, and it was delivered to her house by a drone.
“I didn’t think I would live that long or it wouldn’t come in my lifetime, I’m thrilled,” she said.
Wing alluded to future expansion into other areas. Stay tuned to UAV Expert News for more information on this story!