Zipline International formally started a healthcare company in Rwanda making use of a 3 kg fixed-wing unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) bringing essential medical items to isolated areas of the region. The Zipline Drone Delivery have 15 custom made “Zip” drones which operate from a supply center, with the self-sufficient flying machine in a position to make round trips of as much as 93 miles or 150 kilometers. This distance is sufficient to cover quite a bit of the little African country. Medical facilities around the region can purchase vaccines, blood, or medicines by means of text message. A crew at the delivery facility then loads up the drone and then sets the trip plan before launching it skyward to start its mission.
The drones can carry as much as 3.3 pounds (1.5 kg) of supplies with a top speed of 60 mph (97 kmh). It means that it can arrive in any of 20 specified institutions quickly, dropping off products making use of a naturally degradable parachute. It then simply comes back to the center where it will wait for its next mission.