Drone medical supplies Twitter Flirty2

A rural health clinic in Virginia’s mountains has beaten Amazon to the punch with the first government approved delivery by drone in the U.S.

After a piloted plane delivered the drugs to the Lonesome Pine Airport in southwestern Virginia, the drone — built by Australian drone-maker Flirtey — made three trips, ferrying ten pounds of medical supplies to the temporary clinic set up at a nearby fairgrounds. Operators used an onboard camera to watch as they lowered each delivery to a drop-off point.

Driving the drugs from a warehouse to the clinic would have taken 90 minutes. The plane and drone combination cut that time by more than half.drone-bugs-michael-godfrey-photoby-UniversityOfQueensland

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The company tweeted “Close-up of Flirtey delivering in Virginia today!” along with a picture of the drone shortly after it took off.

“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,” Flirtey CEO Matt Sweeny said.

The FAA approved the flight and worked with NASA to monitor the operation. It served as a demonstration for potentially delivering supplies on a short deadline as well as a model for how eventual commercial deliveries could be carried out.

(WATCH the video of the flight and READ more at the Guardian) — Photo: Flirty, Twitter


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