The Walmart in Hoke County is now part of a pilot program offering some items delivered by flying drone, for people in the coverage area.
Walmart is partnering with the Flytrex company to deploy drones for some deliveries for online purchases, the company said in a press release.
“Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, it’s your Walmart drone delivery order – soon to be spotted in the skies over Raeford. Walmart has announced an expansion of its drone delivery pilot in North Carolina. Walmart will be working with Flytrex, a drone delivery company, to deliver select grocery and household essentials to customers in Raeford,” the release stated. “Once the drone is loaded and ready for takeoff, items are delivered to a customer’s home within five minutes.”
Walmart first launched the pilot program last fall in Fayetteville. Now, the program is available for some locations in Hoke.
Customers can download the Flytrex app to find out if their home is in the drone delivery zone. Initially, there isn’t an additional charge for the drone delivery for eligible items, according to Walmart.
According to Flytrex’s website, the drones do not carry any cameras and are flown using GPS and sensors only. The drones fly at 32 miles an hour at a height of 230 feet, and use a wire release mechanism to gently lower orders from a height of 80 feet to ensure a quiet and secure delivery, the website stated.
The company is part of the Federal Aviation Administration’s UAS Integration Pilot Program. Flytrex has partnered with the North Carolina Department of Transportation to standardize backyard drone delivery, and for the last several years has worked with the Icelandic Transportation Authority to advance the use of drones for commercial deliveries in Iceland.
The drones can carry a load of up to 6.6 pounds – which the company notes, is about the weight of six to eight hamburgers – for a distance of about three and a half miles and back. They can’t fly when it’s raining or in wind gusts of over 18 miles an hour, the company’s information said.
For more information, visit https://www.flytrex.com. To download the app, visit the Google Play Store for Android or the App Store for Apple devices.