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Tech Tip
by Brad Appleby
Appleby Arts

Project Wing

Project Wing is a drone program from Google's secretive moonshot lab, Google[X]. Google[X] is a division of Google that works on special projects like a self-driving car, wind energy, Google Glass and Project Loon, just to name a few. The idea behind Project Wing is to provide a means of quick and efficient delivery of products around or across populated areas using flying vehicles (drones). Google[X] has been in development on the project for about two years. Full-scale testing has been being carried out mainly in Australia, due to the firmer restrictions in the United States with respect to unmanned vehicle flight over populated areas.

The basis for Project Wing is a specialized wing that takes off vertically and rotates to fly horizontally. For carrying out deliveries, the wing will hover and slowly and carefully lower packages down to the ground. Here is a web address to see a video of one of the tests.

Before Google can officially launch Project Wing, it will need to gain approval from the Federal Aviation Administration. One of the things that will have to be worked out is a seek and avoidance system. The drones will have to seek out and avoid other flying objects, trees, power lines and anything else in the flight path during travel, delivery and return.

There are a lot of companies and hobbyists working on all types of drone systems. I like the new tether drone system. You put a tracking wristband on and set the distance for the drone to follow you. The drone will follow you and take movies or photos of your activities.

The National Park Service currently bans drone use in all National Parks, so that drones cannot be launched from, landed in or flown over the land or water contained in a National Park. The National Park Service manages over 84 million acres of land and over 4.5 million acres of oceans, lakes and reservoirs, so this ban could be a deterrent for many hobbyists that are considering recreational drone use.

To learn more about this and other Tech Tip articles, contact Brad at (702) 294-1392 or

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