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October 28, 2021

The Dallas Flyer: Episode 2

  • , Drone delivery
  • , The Dallas Flyer
  • , United States
  • , Wing

 

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This post was originally part of our Dallas Flyer email newsletter. You can read other entries here or subscribe to receive future email updates here.


from: Jacob <howdy@wing.com>

to: Wing Early Flyers

date: October 27, 2021

subject: Prepare for takeoff

What have we been up to this week? 

Kendal and I got off to a running start this weekend, with a handful of community pop-ups in Frisco and Little Elm. We had a booth at the Frisco Rotary Farmers Market, and even got a chance to visit with a couple local HOAs.

We expected people to be excited, but we have been totally blown away by the response so far! Thank you to everyone who came by to say “hi,” ask questions or pose with the drone for a selfie.

Know of a local event that we should visit next? Please send us an invite at howdy@wing.com. We’re hoping to get out to meet people every weekend -- and we’ll even bring along some free treats to sweeten the deal!

What’s on the calendar next week?

Frisco has set up a Special Town Hall event on Thursday, October 28 at 7 p.m., in the city council chambers at Frisco’s George A. Purefoy Municipal Center. The event will also be streaming on Facebook Live. Kendal and I will be there to answer questions and meet future customers. We’d love to see you there!

Why is this DFW launch so significant?

When we launch our service in Little Elm and Frisco in the coming months, it will be the first time drone delivery is available in a major U.S. metropolitan area. We’re incredibly grateful and excited for the opportunity to work with communities here to make this idea a reality. 

A quick bit of history for those who haven’t been closely following the U.S. drone industry: Until around 2019, drone delivery in the U.S. was little more than a series of flight demonstrations. It might have looked like drone delivery, but it wasn’t “real” drone delivery. Even Wing participated in this in 2016, when we delivered burritos a short distance across a grass field at Virginia Tech’s campus. It was a small number of flights, in a controlled environment, for a short period of time.

The Virginia Tech demonstration was an essential and impressive step forward at the time, but the “real” version of drone delivery, and what Wing is offering today (dozens of drones autonomously making hundreds of deliveries a day) was just not possible under the regulatory framework back then. 

Fast forward to 2019, when Wing earned an Air Carrier Certificate from the FAA, the first drone delivery company to do so. With that designation, we were able to work with community leaders and local businesses to launch a real, working drone delivery service in Christiansburg, Virginia. Our drones continue to operate out of a “nest'' where they’re loaded, take off, fly directly to homes, deliver their package, and then return to recharge and get ready for another flight. Like normal retail services, we operate 8 hours a day, 5 days a week, and many customers have started relying on us.

Jacob poses with a fellow Wing employee after receiving a drone delivery.

And now we’re getting ready for our next major step forward, as we bring drone delivery to a major U.S. metro area. On top of that, we’re also launching a new model for our service, where drones will fly directly from a local Walgreens store to customer doors.