February 01, 2021

How does Wing drone delivery work?

Wing is using drones to make delivery safer, faster and more sustainable. We’ve developed a lightweight, electric and highly automated aircraft to deliver packages from merchants to customers. Our technology enables us to fly many deliveries at the same time, helping to reach thousands of homes within a city.

Let’s use a pharmacy order as an example.

  1. Order. Alex comes down with a cold, and opens the Wing app to search for a remedy. She adds cold medicine to her online shopping cart and checks out.
  2. Packing. Wing’s pharmacy merchant partner gathers items off the shelf and places them inside a specially-designed package. Once prepared, the merchant requests a Wing aircraft to pick up the package.
  3. Route Planning. Wing automatically plans a safe and efficient route to the merchant and then to Alex’s delivery spot, taking into account regulations.
  4. Pick-up. The aircraft performs a set of automated pre-flight checks and will not proceed if it detects a fault. When ready, the drone takes off vertically, flies to the package pickup spot, hovers about 7 metres (23 feet) off the ground and uses a winch to lower a specialized hook. Once the package is attached to the hook by the merchant, the winch pulls up the package and secures it firmly to the aircraft for flight.
  5. Delivery. Once the package is safely secured, the drone climbs vertically to a cruise height of about 30 to 40 metres (100 to 130 feet) and transitions to forward flight like an airplane. The aircraft proceeds to Alex’s home located 7 km (4.3 miles) away at speeds approaching 110 km/h (70 mph). Once it arrives, the drone slows down, hovers, and descends vertically to a safe height about 7 metres (23 feet) above the ground. Using the winch, the drone slowly lowers the package to the ground, and the package detaches from the hook. By design, no human interaction is required during delivery.
  6. Collect. After the drone flies away, Alex collects the package for some much-needed cold relief.
  7. Return. The drone returns to Wing’s site like an airplane, transitions to a hover, descends vertically, and lands on a charging pad to prepare for its next delivery.

Did you know? Wing’s drones are delivering everything from library books and medicines, to roasted chickens and hot coffees. The unique aircraft design allows it to hold the package steady, without spills.

Customers receiving Wing package via drone delivery