First successful drone delivery made in the US
The first US government-approved drone delivery has successfully transported 4.5kg of medical supplies to a rural health clinic.
The drone, made by Australian drone manufacturer Flirtey, took part in the demonstration, which was approved by the Federal Aviation Authority, in partnership with Nasa on Friday.
The Flirtey drone made three three-minute flights from Lonesome Pine Airport, Virginia, to the clinic at the Wise County Fairgrounds, carrying 24 medical packages.
“Proving that unmanned aircraft can deliver lifesaving medicines is an important step toward a future where unmanned aircraft make routine autonomous deliveries of your everyday purchases,” said Flirtey chief executive Matt Sweeny in a statement.
The test is being hailed as proof that drones can be useful in a delivery scenario, particularly in rural and remote areas that are hard to reach via ground vehicles. But the range and flight time of drones means that opportunities are limited.
Amazon and others are currently developing the technology to make drone deliveries possible on a commercially viable scale, but rules and regulations currently governing their operation have held development back.