The Flirtey company has very recently operated the first FAA-approved drone delivery in the US. Their drones carried medical supplies from Lonesome Pine Airport in Wise, Virginia to the Wise County Fairgrounds. A remotely controlled NASA aircraft began the process by carrying the prescription medication to the airport and the Flirtey drones took over from there.
These flights were directed by the Mid-Atlantic Aviation Partnership at Virginia Tech as a part of the “Let’s Fly Wisely” event. Flying wisely with the drones was quite the success and cut delivery time by more than half. With normal delivery taking at least a day, the supplies made it there in half an hour instead.
It’s safe to assume that these deliveries brought a ray of hope to residents of the area, because in rural communities, healthcare is not easily accessible the majority of the time.
Rural health issues often go unnoticed but it is a big deal. Statistics have shown that while one-fourth of Americans live rurally, only 10% of medical professionals practice in rural efforts. This makes it more difficult for residents to have quick access to medical care and the medicines that they often need.
Showing how drones can be used to help people improve their quality of life, and also save lives when used properly and safely with the approval of the Federal Aviation Administration, is big news. This makes the future look especially promising for the many companies attempting to put drones into use for big business needs.
“Stuff by air. Anytime. Anywhere.” That’s a slogan for Flirtey, the Australian company currently based in Reno at the University of Nevada. Their drones automatically return to home when their battery gets low or when there is turbulent weather. They will also return to home if there are location issues or a communication failure. While Flirtey may be a start-up company, they are making major headway by combining drone technology with certified, reliable safety features.