Why is Wing’s new drone bigger?

Most drones keep getting smaller. But today, Wing announced a new drone that’s actually bigger.

Just as an SUV can carry more people and stuff than a little golf cart, bigger drones can carry more stuff, which is critical in Wing’s mission to be a leader in drone deliveries. Until now, Wing’s existing fleet of commercially operational aircrafts have been able to carry about 2.5 pounds worth of payload. This newest addition is basically twice as powerful, capable of carrying a standard cardboard delivery box with a payload up to five pounds.

That’s all without having to sacrifice distance traveled or flight speeds. Like the existing aircraft in Wing’s fleet, this new aircraft has the same round-trip range of 12 miles and can fly at approximately 65 miles per hour.

“We’re introducing an additional aircraft into our fleet that will simplify and streamline larger orders,” wrote Wing CEO Adam Woodworth in a blog post about the news.

If you live in one of the areas where Wing operates (which for the U.S. primarily means Texas’s Dallas-Forth worth area), expect to see the new aircraft flying within the next 12 months.

What is Wing?

Wing is the drone delivery subsidiary of Alphabet, which also owns Google. Wing is largely considered the world’s second-largest drone delivery company behind Zipline. Both are based in California’s Silicon Valley, but the two have take largely difference approaches.

Whereas Zipline largely focuses on deliveries of medical products to rural parts of developing countries mostly in Africa. Wing focuses mostly on delivery of consumer products. It’s drones tote Walgreens drugstore items, gifts and sweet treats from Sugar Magnolia, to-go food from DoorDash, among others to people’s homes, in a few select areas around the U.S., Australia and soon, Ireland.

The two companies have seen their paths converge as of late though thanks to retail giant Walmart. In 2021, Walmart tapped Zipline to help it make drone deliveries. But then in August 2023, Walmart partnered with Wing too (while keeping Zipline onboard still). In early January 2024, Walmart made it clear it was expanding its drone presence further. Zipline and Wing together have thus far enabled Walmart to reach more than 60,000 homes in the Dallas – Fort Worth area by drone delivery. But with big expansion plans in the works (and fueled by Wing’s new large drone), it is set to expand service to millions of customers in 2024. In fact, at CES 2024 Walmart announced its lofty goal of using both Wing and Zipline with a goal to serve 75% of the region’s population.

The post Why is Wing’s new drone bigger? appeared first on The Drone Girl.

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