First residential drone delivery makes history in Christiansburg

Wing, a subsidiary of Google, said the delivery tests were successful

CHRISTIANSBURG, Va. – History was made in the town of Christiansburg on Friday with the first ever residential drone delivery.

Wing officially launched its new drone service at what it calls 'The Nest,' it's area headquarters near the NRV mall. The company completed more than 80,000 test flights in its history, but Friday's deliveries were the first real deliveries made to regular customers.

Three lucky Christiansburg families got to be a part of it. One received a purchase from Walgreens, the other received the first ever ecommerce delivery by drone via FedEx, and the Joyce family received a package of sweets from a Blacksburg small business called Sugar Magnolia.

The Joyce's were excited to be a part of the history making day.

"It's unexplainable, to be one of the first, we knew we would do it as soon as it became available, but we didn't imagine that we would be one of the first three to do it," Todd Joyce said.

Sugar Magnolia owners Michelle Raub and her husband watched from the Joyce's front yard as their products flew through the sky at 65 miles per hour, and then were lowered by a winch to the ground.

"This is crazy, my husband Tom keeps saying that one day we're going to be a Jeopardy question and that it's going to be what was the first small business to have a drone delivery and it's going to be Sugar Magnolia," Raub said.

Wing CEO James Burgess said Friday's test reaffirms the confidence they have in their technology and product. Christiansburg is the test site because of the company's partnership with Virginia Tech and the Mid Atlantic Aviation Partnership. High ranking officials from the White House, FAA and other government agencies were on hand to watch it all happen.

"For us, we've been working on the technology so long, but really working with the community and getting their feedback first hand on how we can make this more valuable is really important to us," Burgess said. "So Christiansburg, and working with Virginia Tech in the area, as well, they've been wonderful partners, and we're excited to be part of that conversation with the community, so really valuable."

Wing will continue the tests in the limited radius around the mall. The company's eventual goal is to roll the product out to anyone who wants to use it.

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