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News Link • Drones

New world record set for longest drone delivery

•, Michael Irving

On May 5, a fixed-wing HQ-40 UAV carried a package more than 97 miles (156 km), under the watchful eye of the Nevada Institute for Autonomous Systems (NIAS).

Drones from companies like Amazon, 7-Eleven, Domino's and UPS have already taken to the skies to deliver packages and pizza to customers, but those trips are usually short, last-mile trials. The record-breaking UAV journey covered 97 miles from a location in central Texas to carry a pneumatic part to the city of Austin.

Controlled remotely through a cellular communication link, the drone followed a predetermined flight path through the National Airspace System (NAS). Unfortunately, current regulations in the US prohibit drones being flown outside line of sight, so a team of observers had to be dotted along the route to make sure the aircraft remained visible at all times.

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