Wing (company)

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HeadquartersMountain View, CA
Key people
James Ryan Burgess (CEO)
ParentAlphabet Inc.

Wing is a subsidiary of Alphabet Inc. that aims to deliver products within a given region using aircraft that typically deliver faster than traditional transportation methods and also have a smaller carbon footprint than alternative delivery methods. Having completed their first real-world deliveries in 2014[1], the company has since developed a presence in both Australia and Finland. As an aviation company, Wing's mission is to help local businesses grow by giving access them access to more customers through their delivery service. Still growing its presence around the world, Wing is currently only available in limited markets with plans to expand in the coming months. In July 2018, Project Wing graduated from Google X to become an independent Alphabet company.[2] As of January 2019, Wing began delivering take-out food and beverages out of its test facility in Bonython, Australia as part of a pilot program.[3]

How it works[edit]

Wing users download the Wing app to their mobile devices. Once they load a customer profile and verify that Wing services are available in their area, they're able to place orders for local food and goods offered by Wing partners/merchants. When an order is placed, the merchant begins preparing the parcel for delivery. Upon packaging completion, the merchant attaches the parcel to a nearby aircraft via a tether and pill system so that the merchant can maintain a safe distance from the drone while it hovers. When the aircraft takes off, it has already been programmed with the optimal flight path to reach the customer safely and quickly. Once the aircraft arrives at its drop off destination, it lowers the parcel to the ground via the tether, releases the parcel from the pill, and the customer picks up their goods from there. The aircraft never lands during the process so that merchants and customers do not have to interact directly with the drone.

The aircraft[edit]

Over the past six years, Wing developed its current aircraft to meet compliance standards and effectively deliver parcels through the air. The drones are specifically designed for small parcel delivery. Each aircraft features propellers, like a classic drone, along with wings to help it cover long distances quickly. Each aircraft is powered by clean electric batteries[4]. For safety purposes, the aircraft features many redundant systems (extra propellers, batteries, and so on) so that if anything were to ever malfunction, flight can continue until a mechanic can address the issue. The aircraft take off vertically by hovering, then rotates to a horizontal position to fly forward. The flight path the aircraft follows is determined by Wing's UTM (Unmanned Traffic Management) System, which optimizes the route for time and distance efficiency while ensuring the plane's path will be obstacle free. To assist in navigating unforeseen obstacles, the aircraft features a black and white camera that shows the system shapes without distinct features in order to preserve community privacy while maintaining a safe flight.


  1. ^ "Wing" Check |url= value (help). Google X. Retrieved April 15, 2019.
  2. ^ Koulopoulos, Thomas (July 2018). "The Moonshot to Create the Next Google". Inc. Retrieved July 13, 2018.
  3. ^ "Google Drones Can Already Deliver You Coffee In Australia". The Wall Street Journal. 8 January 2018. Retrieved 13 January 2018 – via YouTube.
  4. ^ Slush (2018-12-07), Launch: Transforming Delivery by Wing CEO James Ryan Burgess, retrieved 2019-04-15

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