Drone delivery in Australia
What if you could simply use your phone to have something delivered directly to you in minutes through the air; faster, more safely and with a lower carbon footprint than if it were delivered on the ground? Wing, an initiative from Alphabet’s X, uses delivery drones to provide this new service.
 
Today, we’re testing drone delivery directly to users in Canberra, Australia. We’ve completed thousands of flights so far, and we’re working with testers to trial our Wing app, improve the delivery experience, and learn how drone delivery can benefit our testers' everyday lives.
How drone delivery works
Our delivery drones can pick up a package from a business or home, fly to a designated destination, and gently lower the package to the ground in a precise location (like a backyard or near a doorstep). Our drones map the best route to a designated location using our unmanned traffic management platform (UTM), which manages the drones’ flight path from take-off to landing, making sure they plan routes around each other, buildings, trees, or anything else that might be in the way.
Testing in Bonython
Using Wing’s delivery app, testers can order a range of food and convenience items and have them delivered by drone. The trial is initially open to a limited number of households in Bonython.
Get involved
Let us know if you’d like to stay informed about Wing’s testing program by filling out our online form. We plan to expand our delivery testing zone as our testing progresses.
FAQ
Managing the growing number of drones safely and securely in the sky requires collaboration and coordination with local communities, as well as regulators, the aviation community, drone operators and manufacturers.
Testing drone delivery
We are trialing drone delivery with a limited number of households in Bonython, Australia.
 
Why are you testing in Australia?
We’ve been testing in Australia since 2014, when we delivered food, radios, batteries, and bottled water to farmers in Queensland. Australians were early adopters of drones, and have used the small aircraft for recreation, farming and other purposes for many years.
How do I become a tester?
Wing’s delivery test is initially only available to those in our test area in Bonython. However, if you want to find out more, let us know by filling out our get involved form.
How much does drone delivery cost?
Testers will be able to purchase a range of food and convenience items and Wing will deliver these items without a delivery charge during testing.
What items can I get delivered?
Chemist Warehouse is offering nearly 100 products across several product categories, including medicines, sun care, dental, haircare, skincare, cosmetics, vitamins and personal care. Guzman y Gomez are offering a range of burritos and burrito bowls, as well as sides like guacamole and chips.
How much weight can the drone carry?
Our drones can carry packages that weigh up to 1.5 kilograms (kg).
Will Wing be expanding its delivery zone soon?
We hope to expand our delivery zone as our testing progresses. We will keep the community informed as we are able to increase our service area.
How does Wing know where to deliver packages?
Using the Wing App, testers can choose from among several possible delivery locations in their yards, and the aircraft will then deliver only to the selected location.
How do testers take the package off the drone?
Our testers do not interact directly with the delivery drone. The aircraft hovers around 7 metres above the ground and lowers the package to the ground slowly, attached to a line. We ask testers to remain 2 metres away from the package drop-off point to avoid interfering with the delivery process. Once on the ground, the package disconnects from the line (which is then reeled back in) and the drone flies away. The tester can then safely pick up the package.
How big are Wing’s drones?
Each drone has a wingspan of approximately 1 metre, and weighs around 5 kilograms (kg).
How far can each drone fly?
Our delivery drones are capable of flying approximately 20 kilometres (km) round trip. We’ll initially be conducting test flights in a much smaller area, as the trial is initially open to a limited number of households in Bonython.
In your neighborhood
We respect the communities we operate in and are working closely with residents and local authorities to ensure we address any concerns that might arise about this new technology. If you have any questions or feedback for us about the program, please don’t hesitate to contact us at wing-au@x.team.
 
Who has given you permissions to fly?
Our testing in Bonython has been approved by CASA, who required us to provide detailed information about the safety of our technology and operations. Wing has been working with CASA since 2014 to demonstrate the safety of our technology and operations. The ACT Government also supports our trial.
Are there rules about how close you can fly to people, homes and buildings?
Wing has been working with CASA since 2014 to demonstrate the safety of our technology and operations. As a result of the information we’ve provided CASA from the tens of thousands of flights we’ve completed over the past several years, CASA has provided Wing with an exemption to CASA's rules requiring drones remain 30 metres from people and buildings. Our drones will typically be flying 20m - 50m above the ground as they move between destinations, slowly descending to a height of approximately 7m above the ground when they lower a package. We ask testers to remain 2 metres away from the package delivery point to avoid interfering with the delivery process.
How much noise do the drones make?
The sound of our drones vary depending on environmental and geographic conditions, such as wind speed, physical features of the site, and whether our drone is in hover or in flight mode. While we know that our drone delivering to your neighbor is not as loud as a truck delivering to your neighbor, it is a new sound that may at first be unfamiliar to people.
How do you test your drones to ensure they can fly safely and reliably?

Safety is our highest priority. We’ve flown tens of thousands of test flights at our private test facilities in the US, and we recently completed hundreds of yard deliveries to residents living on the border of NSW and the ACT. All of our tests are conducted in accordance with all applicable Australian aviation laws and regulations and Wing safety policies.

In addition to this, we have multiple levels of redundancy built into our operations, including real-time systems that conduct health and safety checks on our drones, and qualified pilots who oversee the operations.

Are there cameras on the drone?
Our drones have a range of sensors on them - like GPS and a downward-facing camera - that are used to help the drone navigate and identify precisely where to land. The camera is used as part of a backup navigation system to ensure the drone flies safely.
What do you use the footage for?
Wing takes privacy extremely seriously. We actively avoid capturing any more data than is necessary for the safe operation of our drones. Camera data is used by the drone to help it navigate safely. Access to this data is limited to a select group of safety engineers on our team and is used for technical debugging purposes and to improve our service. It is not available in real-time and can not be viewed by the pilots who oversee our operations. Wing does not publish or share this data with anyone outside our team.
How do drones operate in adverse weather conditions like rain? Can they fly at night?
Initially we will operate during daylight hours and in favorable weather conditions. Our drones are designed to fly in both the day and night and are capable of safely delivering a package in a strong breeze and rain.
Get in touch
Have questions or suggestions? Here’s how you can contact Wing.
 
How can I provide feedback to Wing?
Email us at wing-au@x.team or fill out our online form: www.x.company/wing/contact/.
I'm a journalist, how can I reach out to Wing?
Email us at press@x.team
How can I find out if I can participate in the trial?
Please fill out this form x.company/wing/get-involved/ and we’ll keep you informed of testing opportunities.