Wing has designed a drone that can pick up a package, fly to a designated site, hover over the delivery area, and gently lower the package to the ground at a precise location. The drones map a safe route to a designated location using Wing's UAS traffic management system (UTM). The UTM plans a flight path from take-off to landing, avoiding other Wing drones and obstacles. For more information see the IDTechEx report on Drones 2018-2038.
Wing has now achieved a significant milestone, becoming the first drone delivery company to receive Air Carrier Certification from the United States Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). This is an important step for the FAA and the drone industry in the United States; the result of years of work to safely integrate drones into the national airspace. Wing is grateful for the vision of the Administration, the Department of Transportation, and the FAA for creating the Unmanned Aircraft System Integration Pilot Program (UAS IPP) to advance the drone industry in the US.
"This is an important step forward for the safe testing and integration of drones into our economy. Safety continues to be our Number One priority as this technology continues to develop and realize its full potential," said U.S. Secretary of Transportation, Elaine L. Chao. Air Carrier Certification means that Wing can begin a commercial service delivering goods from local businesses to homes in the United States.
For communities across the country, this presents new opportunities. Goods like medicine or food can now be delivered faster by drone, giving families, shift workers, and other busy consumers more time to do the things that matter. Air delivery also provides greater autonomy to those who need assistance with mobility. The all-electric drones will reduce traffic on our roads and pollution and carbon emissions in our skies.
Most importantly, FAA certification required Wing to submit evidence that their operations are safe. These submissions included data showing that a delivery by Wing carries a lower risk to pedestrians than the same trip made by car. The drones have flown over 70,000 test flights, and more than 3,000 deliveries to doorsteps, driveways and backyards of customers in Australia.
Wing has worked for six years to build a small, lightweight aircraft and navigational system that can safely deliver small packages on demand to specific destinations in only a few minutes. Air Carrier Certification is an important step that will ultimately allow Wing to create air delivery services for communities in America.
Source and top image: Wing