Skip to comments.FAA Grounds Valentine’s Flower Delivery Drone
Posted on 02/14/2014 2:45:46 PM PST by Jean S
COMMERCE TWP. (WWJ) A Commerce Township floral delivery company says the Federal Aviation Administration has grounded its experiment in delivering flowers by unmanned mini-helicopter.
FlowerDeliveryExpress.com said the FAA has informed them that commercial drone use is only allowed on a pre-authorized, case-by-case basis and told the company to knock it off.
Cupids wings have been clipped, said the companys CEO, Wesley Berry.
But at least the FAA was nice about it, Berry said. The FAA was extremely professional and polite, he said. I couldnt have been chastised in a nicer way.
Berry said he agreed with the FAAs characterization of delivery drones as flying food processors and that drone delivery operators probably need regulation like training to avoid mishaps and insurance should they occur.
FlowerDeliveryExpress.com had intended to deliver as many free rose bouquets as possible to its beta test group on Valentines Day to benchmark the delivery capacity of its drone. The company currently uses traditional delivery methods to serve several million other customers across the country.
Berry said the FAA didnt tell him when they might come up with regulations that would allow drone delivery but said the FAA told him it is actively working on it. This technology is here to stay. When the time is right, well be ready for orders to be delivered, not by an address, but by GPS coordinates. Its exciting to plan the future of the business based on this emerging technology.
Berrys other delivery methods in development include trucks carrying pre-made bouquets for rapid delivery.
FlowerDeliveryExpress.com has launched a consumer beta program to test alternative delivery methods and other development efforts. Consumers can sign up for the beta test group at http://www.FlowerDeliveryExpress.com/beta. Participation is not guaranteed, and you must be a U.S. resident.
The drone flower delivery, which took place Saturday, Feb. 8, 2014 in metro Detroit, can be viewed on YouTube here: http://bit.ly/1lXLQgn.
Berry also owns Wesley Berry Flowers, a Detroit-based brick-and-mortar florist established by his family in 1946. The company has four stores, including one downtown in the Penobscot Building and another in the Schoolcraft-Greenfield area of Detroit. But Berry said that 98 percent of his companys business is now done via the website.
Just how big does a model aircraft have to get before it’s called a drone?
Maybe a mini-zeppelin with the ability to move helium into and back out of a compressed tank to control its buoyancy would be safer as it does not need vigorously chopping blades to keep it aloft.
And however it came, it would be neat if it could bring with itself a video depicting the view from its flight.
This sounds like it’s on the verge of overreaction. The flights appear to happen at the height of kites.
Commercial transport by air.
The FAA doesn’t like not getting their cut.
That stunt worked extremely well for Amazon.
Sometimes the second time around not so much...