The Flirtey drone used to make the first Federal Aviation Administration-approved drone delivery in the U.S. has been accepted into the collection of the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum, which also displays the Space Shuttle Discovery, the SR-71 Blackbird and the first aircraft operated by FedEx.
At last July’s “Let’s Fly Wisely” event in Wise, Va., the six-rotor drone delivered medication to a rural medical clinic after the medicine was flown to a regional airport by a remotely operated NASA winged aircraft.
The drone was brought to the National Air and Space Museum’s Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center, located near Washington Dulles International Airport. The drone will be put on exhibit after it has been prepared for long-term display.
“Flirtey’s delivery was the Kitty Hawk moment for the drone industry, and it is fitting that our delivery drone will now be part of the same institution that displays the Wright Flyer,” says Matt Sweeny, CEO of Flirtey.
“This is a tremendous milestone for our team,” adds Tom Bass, co-founder of Flirtey. “When drones are as commonplace as mail trucks – delivering anything you desire – people will look back at this as where it all began and be inspired to realize the next great chapters in our dreams of flight.”
In 2014, Draganfly Innovations’ Draganflyer X4-ES drone joined the Vertical Flight Exhibit of the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum. The aircraft was credited with being the first small UAS operated by public safety to save a human life.