Google affiliate begins drone deliveries in Virginia town

It was the first drone company to receive the approval in the US, beating out Amazon's Prime Air, which revealed its drone plans in 2013. Watching the deliveries were officials from the White House; the Federal Aviation Administration; Wing, the company that designed, built, and operated the aircraft, app for ordering, and delivery system; the companies whose products were inside the packages; and Virginia Tech, including Virginia Tech President Tim Sands.

Walgreens is conducting the pilot in partnership with Wing Aviation, a subsidiary of Google parent company Alphabet.

So far, the service is only available to select customers in Christiansburg as part of a trial service.

The first Walgreens drone delivery customers ordered cough and cold medicine.

The drones will start with a flying radius of about 4 miles (6.5 kilometers) from Wing's distribution facility in Christiansburg.

Wing has already launched tests in Canberra and Logan City, Australia, and Helsinki. A recent article notes: " With an expanded Air Carrier Certificate from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Wing today became the first company to operate a commercial air delivery service via drone directly to homes in the United States. The drones lower cargo weighing up to three pounds into customers' yards, making deliveries in as little as five to 10 minutes. Wing's drones delivered over a thousand meals to Virginia Tech students and staff that fall. "We see drone deliveries as a key part of solutions to these".

"I had a retinal hemorrhage when I was 23, and my husband doesn't like me driving", Susie Sensmeier, a drone delivery tester, said. "In July 2018, Project Wing changed from Google X to become an independent Alphabet company.[2] As of January 2019, Wing began delivering take-out food and beverages out of its test facility in Bonython, Australia as part of a pilot program.[3] In April 2019 Wing became the first drone delivery company to receive a Air operator's certificate from the Federal Aviation Administration to allow it to operate as an airline in the United States of America.[4]" How the system works.

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