Drone delivery service launches trial in southwest Va.

Drone delivery service launches trial in southwest Va.
In Christiansburg, history was made Friday as the drone delivery service, Wing, officially launched its trial. (Source: WDBJ)

CHRISTIANSBURG, Va. (WDBJ) - In Christiansburg, history was made Friday as the drone delivery service, Wing, officially launched its trial. Wing's CEO and Virginia Tech's president were among those who helped kickoff the launch. It took place at Wing's headquarters on Welcome Street.

"We believe this technology has tremendous benefits in our communities, not just enhancing the service and experience of customers with ready access to urgently needed items and package delivery, but making the community safer and improving the quality of life," James Burgess, CEO of Wing, said.

The California-based company is testing in Christiansburg first because of its partnership with Virginia Tech Mid Atlantic Aviation.

"I had a retinal hemorrhage when I was 23, and my husband doesn't like me driving," Susie Sensmeier, a drone delivery tester, said.

Sensmeier has been living in Christiansburg for 14 years. With Wing’s new drove delivery service, she can order and receive packages in under ten minutes without having to drive.

"I'm getting older and this wears out too, so staying home and getting what you need is fine," she said.

Wing has officially launched its trial and partnership with Walgreens and Fed-Ex to deliver their packages.

"It's the first e-commerce delivery by drone to someone's residence in history . . . We're constantly innovating, we're constantly looking at new technologies," Richard W. Smith, Regional President of United States and Global Support for Fed-Ex, said.

Sensmeier and her husband Paul are some of the first people in the country to have a drone deliver a Fed-Ex package. WDBJ7 watched the drone fly in and drop the package at the front of their house. Sensmeier then unpacked and showed off her new maroon vest.

"We were excited to be apart of history," she said.

Anyone in the Christiansburg operating area can now sign up online at Wing.com. Wing expects to be delivering products starting Saturday.

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