NASA Langley Helps Drone Technology Get Its ‘Kitty Hawk Moment’

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Tousands of patients at an annual outdoor free clinic in Wise County were treated to a unique sight recently when for the first time medical supplies flew in on an unmanned drone.

In fact, experts say, it was the first delivery in this country by a government-approved drone.

The flights were intended to put drone technology to the test as Virginia fulfills its role as part of a federally designated test site for unmanned aircraft systems (UAS).

NASA Langley Research Center in Hampton was key to last week’s operation, dubbed Let’s Fly Wisely, in which one of its aircraft delivered pharmaceuticals and medical supplies to a nearby airport for transfer to a hexacopter — a drone with six rotors — for the last leg of the journey.

“We all know that drones and UASes, they’re going to be part of our lives,” Frank Jones, deputy director of NASA Langley’s Research Services Directorate, said Monday. “There are so many applications on how these can be used, including providing medical supplies to people in need.

Source: Daily Press (link opens in a new window)

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