U.S.-based drone delivery company Flirtey will begin commercial service in 2020, it said. Flirtey was the first drone delivery company to conduct FAA-approved commercial drone delivery demonstrations, a series of deliveries of medications and supplies. The July 2015 demonstrations were conducted in Virginia. The drone used for those demonstrations will soon be on display at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum in Washington D.C.
Flirtey is also participating in the FAA’s Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) Integration Pilot Program (IPP) in partnership with the city of Reno, Nevada. It has received FAA approval for multi-drone, single-pilot operations, as well as for beyond visual line of sight operations (BVLOS). Since its founding in 2013, Flirtey launched the first pizza-by-drone delivery model (Domino’s in New Zealand), conducted the first autonomous drone home delivery (with 7-Eleven stores in the U.S.), and completed the first FAA-approved ship-to-shore drone delivery (with Johns Hopkins University).
To date, the company has received $16 million in funding from investors including Menlo Ventures and Qualcomm Ventures. “Flirtey’s Kitty Hawk moment on July 17, 2015, pioneered the commercial drone delivery industry, just as the Wright Brother’s flight at Kitty Hawk…pioneered the commercial aviation industry,” said Flirtey founder and CEO Matthew Sweeny. “Flirtey is now on the fast-track to begin lifesaving automatic electronic defibrillator delivery and commercial package delivery to homes in the U.S. in 2020."