Flirtey is a drone delivery company from Australia specializing in last-mile delivery using unmanned vehicles, and it recently marked July 17 as a day going down in history—the first drone delivery, government-approved, in the U.S., with packages of medical supplies getting to its source, a clinic in Virginia. (see video)
These were research flights that got an FAA Certificate of Authorization. The flights were in a partnership program with Virginia Tech and NASA to participate in the drone project. The drone was on an errand to deliver pharmaceuticals and other medical supplies during research flights at a free medical clinic in Wise on July 17.
A statement from NASA said “Some underserved Virginia patients were among the first to be officially helped by an Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS), more commonly known as a drone, during research flights to a medical clinic in Wise County Friday. In accordance with research flight plans authorized by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), a full-sized aircraft operated by NASA’s Langley Research Center in Hampton and a hexacopter drone operated by Flirtey Inc., a drone startup company, delivered pharmaceuticals and other medical supplies to an outdoor free clinic. The annual clinic, which is held at the Wise County Fairgrounds, is run by Remote Area Medical and the Health Wagon, a local health outreach organization. It typically serves more than 1,500 patients.”