FAQ
At Project Wing we’re working towards a new commerce system that opens up universal access to the sky.
About the project
Automated aircraft and the supporting ecosystem could open up entirely new approaches to delivering goods and services—including options that are cheaper, faster and less wasteful than what's possible today.
 
Why is Project Wing focused on low-altitude airspace?
The layer of airspace under 500 feet is regulated but mostly uncontrolled. This layer of airspace also touches the ground where we live and work, and is a space where unmanned aircraft can have a positive impact. We want to help bring about a future for this airspace in which both manned and unmanned systems can fly together safely. Our goal is to enable a network of airspace service providers to safely offer access to this airspace to anyone.
What’s next for the project?
We’re excited about the potential for automated aircraft technology to someday transform how we think about transportation of a wide range of goods, from emergency aids to food to medical supplies. Today we’re focused on overcoming the technical and regulatory hurdles to making that vision a reality.
How can I partner with Project Wing?
We’re looking for organizations who can help us build, test, use and showcase our technology. Please tell us about yourself and we’ll be in touch if there is an opportunity to work together.
Where can I learn about open positions?
Our team is growing! Please submit your resume to one of our open roles.
In the air
The air is for everyone. Our automated aircraft will need to safely share the air with other manned vehicles (like planes), unmanned vehicles and birds.
 
How are you ensuring safety?
Safety is our top priority. We have some of the world’s most highly skilled hardware and software engineers designing, building and testing aircraft. The aircraft are designed with failsafe architecture – redundant avionics, motors, batteries and even navigation systems – with intelligent controls so backup systems can help keep aircraft safely in flight. And we’re building an airspace management platform which uses identity authentication to enable coordination with others sharing the airspace.
Does that mean you're privatizing airspace control?
No. We believe in democratizing the airspace. We aim to create an open access system for many different service providers in a class of airspace that doesn’t have many users and services today. We support the direction of the FAA’s NextGen concept and the SESAR concept in Europe. Working together, we hope to build a system that will help existing air traffic control systems safely accommodate the growth of unmanned vehicle operations in low-altitude airspace.
How high do these planes fly? Can I see them or hear them?
Our automated aircraft fly up to 400 feet above the ground. Our goal is to design a system that is as unobtrusive as possible during takeoff, flight and delivery.
Where has Project Wing conducted tests?
We tested in Queensland, Australia in 2014. Since then we’ve been improving our design in the labs at X in Mountain View and rural airfields in California. In September 2016, Project Wing tested its aerial delivery system at an FAA test site at Virginia Tech, run by the Mid-Atlantic Aviation Partnership. These tests were designed to generate data for the FAA’s ongoing study of unmanned aerial delivery systems.
Do you need permission to fly?
Yes, we do. We adhere to governmental guidelines and requirements to conduct safe and responsible development and flight testing. We’re currently working with civil aviation authorities and air traffic control to secure and maintain the appropriate permissions and licenses.
Design and technology
A fast delivery can bring relief to those in need. Our automated aircraft, the commerce platform and the overall aerial management system are being designed for maximum efficiency for an entire delivery fleet.
 
Why is Project Wing designing its own aircraft?
Opening access to the sky in a responsible and safe manner requires careful design. We are designing our own aircraft so all of our technologies for the aerial delivery system will work cohesively together for an entire fleet.
What do automated aircraft look like?
Our designs have changed significantly from our first concepts and continue to be refined as we test different deliveries and environments. Our current prototypes have fixed wings like an airplane, rotors like a helicopter and a wingspan of roughly 1.5 meters.
How automated are Project Wing aircraft?
Pilots currently monitor our automated aircraft and can take control of the aircraft movements at any moment. Our long-term approach towards automated flight is to build a safe, effective and scalable delivery system that won’t require individual pilot control.
What can the aircraft carry?
During our 2016 tests at Virginia Tech we delivered food, but we want to be able to carry all sorts of things. To do so, we need to reduce aircraft weight so we can maximize the percentage of weight that is the delivery itself.