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Amazon Drone Comes to Air and Space

Posted on Tue, August 14, 2018
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One hundred years ago, airmail delivery was new and a novelty. (In fact, it started off with pilot Earle Ovington taking a mail bag on his trip to an international air meet in 1911. While in the air, he pushed the bag overboard for the postmaster to pick up.) A century later, vertical take-off and landing drones have taken the mantle as the potential next generation of air delivery.

The story of this emerging technology will be a cornerstone of our new Thomas W. Haas We All Fly gallery, a new exhibition that is part of the ongoing reimagining of the Museum. We are excited to feature an example of Amazon’s work in the autonomous aerial delivery field—the Amazon Prime Air Hybrid Drone.

The Amazon Hybrid Delivery Drone in restoration at the Museum’s Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center. Credit: National Air and Space Museum

Amazon’s Prime Air Hybrid Drone rises vertically to nearly 400 feet, and can fly for over 10 miles from an Amazon warehouse to a customer’s backyard. This particular demonstration model takes off and lands vertically, but travels to its destination horizontally; Amazon is currently testing different drone designs for use in different environments. Amazon’s drone will be on display as an example of how personal and commercial drones have the potential to reshape our everyday lives.

You can learn more about the many different types of aviation—from gliders to agricultural aircraft to drones—in the new Thomas W. Haas We All Fly gallery, as part of the reimagined National Air and Space Museum. Learn more about the Museum’s transformation.