The Flirtey drone used to make the first FAA-approved drone delivery in the United States has been accepted into the collection of the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum, which displays the Space Shuttle Discovery, the SR-71 Blackbird and the first aircraft operated by FedEx.
The six-rotor drone delivered medication to a rural medical clinic in Wise Virginia on July 17, 2015 after the medication was flown to a regional airport by a remotely operated NASA winged aircraft. The carbon fiber and aluminum drone has a delivery system that works by lowering the package in a controlled manner while the drone hovers in place. Built-in safety features include an automatic return-to-safe-location in case of low battery, low GPS signal or communication loss.
Through participation from NASA’s Langley Research Center, Virginia Tech and the Mid Atlantic Aviation Partnership, Flirtey’s delivery showcased the massive commercial potential of drone delivery in the United States and around the world.
“Flirtey’s delivery was the ‘Kitty Hawk moment’ for the drone industry and it is fitting that our delivery drone will now be part of the same institution that displays the Wright Flyer. With Flirtey’s leadership, the enormous potential and inevitability of delivery by drone is clear, Flirtey is proud to be a part of the Smithsonian’s unequaled aviation collection.” – Flirtey CEO Matt Sweeny said
The drone was delivered to the National Air and Space Museum’s Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center, which is located near Washington Dulles International Airport. The center displays the some of the most important artifacts and advancements in aviation history. The drone will be put on exhibit after it has been prepared for long-term display by museum collections specialists.
“This is a tremendous milestone for our team. When drones are as commonplace as mail trucks, delivering anything you desire, people will look back at this as where it all began and be inspired to realize the next great chapters in our dreams of flight,” – said Flirtey co-founder Tom Bass.
Flirtey is continuing its collaboration with the Virginia Tech Institute for Critical Technology and Applied Science, the Mid Atlantic Aviation Partnership, the NASA Langley Research Center, the Appalachian College of Pharmacy, Rx Partnership, the Health Wagon, Remote Area Medical, and the Business and Economic Development Office of Wise County, Virginia, and is planning to expand its drone delivery service in the United States.
Flirtey is the premier independent drone delivery service, with a mission to create the fastest, most efficient and customer-centric delivery service in the world. The U.S.-based startup has worked with NASA, the University of Nevada, Reno, and Virginia Tech University to create the leading technology and logistics systems for a mass-market drone delivery network. Learn more at Flirtey.com
The Let’s Fly Wisely Partners include cofounder and chief executive officer of Flirtey, Inc., Matthew Sweeny; cofounder and chief operations officer of Flirtey, Inc., Tom Bass; advisory board member of Flirtey, Inc., Shyam Chidamber; director of NASA Langley Research Center, David E. Bowles; president of Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Timothy D. Sands; the Mid-Atlantic Aviation Partnership represented by Jon Greene and Rose Mooney; executive director of Health Wagon, Dr. Teresa Gardner; clinical director of Health Wagon, Paula Meade; executive director of RX Partnership, Amy Yarcich; The Appalachian College of Pharmacy adjunct associate professor of pharmacy, Dr. Shamly Abdelfattah; chief executive officer of Ryan Media Lab (formally SEESPAN Inc.), Mark A. Ryan and partner Kyle Mark Ryan; Remote Area Medical president, Stan Brock; manager of Lonesome Pine Airport, Jarrod Powers; Wise County/City of Norton Clerk of Court Jack Kennedy; and Wise County UAS event coordinator, Andrianah Kilgore; and many other supporters.
Alan Perlman – Alan started UAV Coach to help connect drone hobbyists, to provide world-class sUAS training content, and to educate drone pilots with top-notch training programs.