San Francisco-based Zipline and its fleet of Zip delivery drones are now flying for Cardinal Health (NYSE:CAH), Novant Health and Magellan Rx Management from a hub in North Carolina.
The new Kannapolis, North Carolina distribution center — think of it like a medical fulfillment warehouse combined with a drone airport — is where orders are picked, packed and launched, reaching drop zones within a 7,800-square-mile area in as little as 15 minutes.The Zip drones have a round-trip range of about 100 miles, can cruise at speeds of more than 60 mph, and operate rain or shine, even in high-speed winds. Zipline’s FAA Part 135 air carrier certification allows it to complete the longest-range on-demand commercial drone deliveries in the U.S.
Since its first commercial flight in 2016, Zipline said its Zip drones have now flown 18 million miles, delivering millions of doses of vaccines, units of blood, and critical and life-saving medications to thousands of health facilities serving more than 25 million people across three countries.
Here’s how it works from start to finish, thanks to some innovative features designed for speed, efficiency, and safety: