Flirtey firing up production, taking preorders for delivery drone
Flirtey, the first company in the US to conduct a Federal Aviation Administration-approved drone delivery back in 2015, announced that it is ready to ramp up production of its drone delivery system and is now taking pre-orders.
The Flirtey Eagle is part of the company’s entire technology package, which includes the Flirtey Portal and an autonomous software platform. The company is aiming for FAA certification for its drone system for last mile delivery.
“Flirtey is certifying and expanding US manufacturing of delivery drones to meet growing demand,” said Matthew Sweeny, founder and CEO of Flirtey. “Flirtey’s technology enables companies to run their own logistics by offering customers drone deliveries from shop to door. Companies that use Flirtey’s world-class technology for last mile delivery of drones are pioneering the way to lower delivery costs and billions of potential new revenue. “
Read: If Drones Can Deliver Starbucks, How Long Does It Take For Packages?
Flirtey has operated more than 6,000 flights to date. In November, Flirtey was one of ten drone companies to apply for FAA certification to classify their unmanned aerial vehicle systems (UAS) or drones as special class aircraft. According to the FAA, this approval is part of the process of certifying drones for operation, including package delivery.
“Developing airworthy, durable and reliable unmanned aerial vehicles is a critical step forward for this innovative sector,” said Michael C. Romanowski, director of guidelines and innovation for aircraft certification services. “Type certification will help build public and regulatory confidence in drone technology as operations evolve.”
The airworthiness criteria provide a level of safety that corresponds to the existing airworthiness standards for other aircraft categories and establish a defined path to type certification for certain drones, according to the FAA.
As of November, these were the companies in the approval process (combined with the corresponding announcement of the federal register):
Applicants’ drones range from 5 to 89 pounds and encompass various types of vehicle designs, including fixed-wing and rotary-wing, and are all electrically powered. Each notice will list the applicant’s proposed UAS for certification and the FAA’s proposed airworthiness criteria.
Flirtey’s application listed its F4.5 model, also known as the Eagle. According to the Federal Register’s announcement, the drone “consists of an unmanned aerial vehicle (UA) and its associated elements, which include communications links and the components that control the UA. The Flirtey F4.5 UA model has a maximum gross take-off weight of 38 pounds. It is approximately 78 inches wide, 78 inches long, and 21 inches high. “
Read: Best And Worst Conditions For Drone Operations
The F4.5 is battery operated. Flirtey said a single pilot can operate up to 20 planes at a time. The plane would deliver medical supplies and packages, the company said in the application. The drone has a maximum operating altitude of 400 feet and a maximum cruising speed of 24 knots.
Flirtey’s system includes the portal, a take-off and landing platform that can be placed on the front of a store, and the software platform that controls flight operations. The drone lowers packages on a tether.
Flirtey previously raised approximately $ 15 million on Series B preferred stock financing, which the company valued at approximately $ 100 million. Flirtey’s Series B investors include Hancock Prospecting; Lowercase letters; Woowa Brothers; Ace Investment Partner; Amity Ventures; Y combiner; Members of the Sierra Angels; Ian Narev, former CEO of Commonwealth Bank; Joe Hockey, a former Australian Ambassador to the United States; Melissa Babbage, member of Flirtey’s Board of Directors; and In-Q-Tel.
The company said it continues to work to complete the FAA certification process and scale its operations in New Zealand, where it has already received regulatory approval.
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