US Drone Makes History

US Drone Makes History

A drone has flown a package to a Nevada home in what the state’s governor says was the first such federally authorised urban delivery in the US.

The six-rotor aircraft lowered a package containing bottled water, food and a first-aid kit outside an uninhabited property in Hawthorne, says Reno-based drone start-up Flirtey.

The flying machine followed a pre-GPS programmed route for the half-mile journey on 10 March, says Flirtey chief executive Matt Sweeney.

A pilot and visual observers were on standby during the flight but they weren’t needed, he added.

Mr Sweeney said it proves drones can safely navigate urban obstacles such as power lines, rooftops and street lamps.

The achievement is “taking us closer to the day that drones make regular deliveries to your front doorstep”, he added.

Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval congratulated the company “on successfully completing the nation’s first fully autonomous urban package delivery”.

Flirtey also carried out the first US rural drone delivery last July, bringing medical supplies to a Virginia clinic.

Nevada is one of six states the Federal Aviation Administration has designated as test sites for unmanned aircraft.

The online retailer Amazon has been testing drone deliveries in other countries, including Canada and the Netherlands.

NASA is working with the drone industry and the FAA on a low-altitude air traffic control system to prevent drone crashes.

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