On Friday afternoon, in a first for drone delivery in the U.S., Alphabet's Wing delivered packages, over-the-counter medication, snacks and gifts to residents of Christiansburg, Virginia.
Wing today became the first company to operate a commercial air delivery service via drone directly to homes in the United States. The company has received an expanded Air Carrier Certificate from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), which allowd multiple pilots to oversee multiple unmanned aircraft making commercial deliveries simultaneously to the general public.
Wing’s collaborators on this service — FedEx Express, Walgreens, and local Virginia retailer Sugar Magnolia — are the first businesses in the United States to offer this form of local air delivery to their customers. 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. Walgreens is also completing the first on-demand, commercial drone delivery directly to a home in the U.S. Through this pilot, Walgreens will be the first U.S. retailer to provide customers with on-demand drone deliveries of over-the counter medications and convenience items.
Minutes after customers order from the Wing app from Walgreens or local Virginia retailer Sugar Magnolia, Wing's lightweight aircraft delivers directly to their homes. Similarly, customers can opt in to receive scheduled FedEx Express deliveries by drone. Upon arrival, the aircraft gently lowers the package to a small, designated location in the yard or driveway, before returning to Wing’s “Nest” in North Christiansburg.