February 01, 2021

How do Wing’s drones work?

Wing has designed a lightweight, electric and highly automated drone to deliver packages to homes. Wing’s delivery drone is a hybrid design that incorporates fixed wings to cruise like an airplane and 12 hover rotors to takeoff, hover and land vertically like a helicopter. In this way, the drone can pick up a package from a local business, cruise quickly to a customer and gently deliver the package to a specific location outside their home.

Before flight. Supported by Wing’s UTM technology, Wing automatically plans a safe route from our facility to the pickup and delivery locations, taking into account the weather, known obstacles, airspace restrictions and regulations. The drone performs a set of automated checks and will not proceed if it detects something is not as expected.

Pickup. The drone takes off automatically and flies to the pickup location. Using its hover rotors, the drone hovers around 7 metres (23 feet) above ground and lowers a tether so the merchant can place the package on a specialized hook. The drone retracts the tether and secures the package for flight.

Cruise. After securing the package, the drone climbs vertically to between 30 to 40 metres (100 to 130 feet) above obstacles and transitions into forward flight at speeds approaching 110 kph (70 mph).

Delivery. Upon reaching the delivery location, the drone slows to a hover and descends vertically to about 7 metres (23 feet) above the ground to lower the package. The drone is designed so that it doesn’t have to land at the delivery location. Once it makes contact with the ground, the package releases automatically from the hook. Customers can stand back and watch the entire process without having to interact with the package during delivery.

After flight. The drone returns to the Wing facility and lands automatically on a charging pad. While the drones recharge for the next delivery, other drones continue to respond to orders from customers and businesses.

Wing has developed our drone based on extensive research and development, testing, feedback from customers and businesses, dialogue with regulators and our real-world operations. Below, you can see how our design has changed over time.

Drone delivering package to home