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Wing launches first drone ‘air delivery’ service in the US [Gallery]

Last month, Wing announced a pilot program in the United States to deliver goods with drones. The first “air deliveries” were completed this afternoon in Christiansburg, Virginia.

Wing is working with FedEx Express, Walgreens, and local Virginia business Sugar Magnolia for this pilot. Orders from the two retailers are placed via the Wing app, while those expecting packages can opt in to receive scheduled FedEx deliveries.

  • FedEx is completing the first scheduled e-commerce drone delivery in American history today, and becomes the first company in the United States to connect online retailers to last-mile drone delivery services.
  • Through this pilot, Walgreens will be the first US retailer to provide customers with on-demand drone deliveries of over-the counter medications and convenience items.

Deliveries occur minutes after ordering, with the aircraft hovering upon arrival above an open yard or driveway. Housed in custom packaging, goods are then lowered via tether. The first items delivered by drone in the US include over-the-counter medication, snacks, and gifts.

In April, the Federal Aviation Administration granted Wing an expanded Air Carrier Certificate. The Alphabet division is now the “first company to operate a commercial air delivery service via drone directly to homes.” Behind-the-scenes, pilots are overseeing “multiple unmanned aircraft making commercial deliveries simultaneously.” Drones return to what Wing calls a “Nest” located in North Christiansburg.

Wing has a similar commercial delivery service in Australia after extensive testing, and more recently started trials in Helsinki, Finland. Virginia residents can sign up now for Wing US drone delivery.

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Avatar for Abner Li Abner Li

Editor-in-chief. Interested in the minutiae of Google and Alphabet. Tips/talk: