Last Monday an aircraft was spotted hovering overhead near Virginia Tech. It descended to about 10 feet, hovered over a grass patch and then lowered a large white package to the ground on a string. The drone then flew away, leaving the package and string on the ground.
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During a Bay Area demo broadcast via Periscope, Zipline CEO Keller Rinaudo and other executives showed how they plan to use mini-planes launched with compressed air to deliver blood and medical supplies in Rwanda starting in July.
The railroad also has a compelling business case. The Latitude HQ-40 drone that Graetz supervises has a six-foot wingspan and is equipped with cameras that when paired with special software can potentially detect track anomalies more quickly, possibly preventing derailments. The flights, from just outside of Playas, New Mexico, lay the groundwork for drone inspections of other fixed infrastructure, such as pipelines and power lines.