Spright Achieves Longest US Commercial UAS BVLOS Flight on Record

Spright, the drone division of Air Methods, has successfully completed the longest UAS Beyond Visual Line of Sight (BVLOS) flight in the US by a commercial entity, marking a critical achievement in the pending launch of the first bi-directional US medical drone delivery network. 

The 29-mile flight was accomplished using a Wingcopter 198 eVtol aircraft, departing from Hutchinson Medical Center in Hutchinson, KS, and flying to the affiliated Rice County District Hospital in Lyons, KS. The flight lasted approximately 23 minutes, a stark contrast to the estimated 45minutes it takes to travel between the facilities by road. 

“We are proud to be leading the UAS industry in opening corridors of opportunity for commercial drone delivery,” said Spright President Joseph Resnik. “We look forward to the next phase of our effort to establish a US medical drone network that connects communities with the resources needed to expand healthcare access and improve patient care.”

For rural areas like Lyons, economic pressures often limit the patient services available through community health centers.  Supply inventories, including items like whole blood or critical medications, may be centralized in larger healthcare facilities to control costs. Therefore, accessing those products in an emergency medical situation is challenging and time-consuming, delaying care and threatening positive patient outcomes. Looking ahead, Spright drone delivery will enable the faster and more efficient on-demand transport of vital medical supplies, making a measurable impact on the quality of care available to outlying communities.

“We are committed to delivering the best care possible for our patients. Partnering with Spright on this groundbreaking drone delivery effort will allow us to better serve our patients and communities, but also create internal efficiencies through enhanced resource allocation,” said Chuck Welch, Chief Strategy Officer of Hutchinson Regional Healthcare System. “It’s a win for our staff, our patients, and the broader region as a whole.”   

Spright is the drone division of Air Methods, created to help solve for many of the toughest challenges facing communities across North America. This innovative, drone-based solution leverages emerging aeronautical technology to create operational solutions that can be implemented locally. Based in Gilbert, Arizona, Spright as a stand-alone Part 135 Operator with a leadership team that touts more than 70 years of aviation operational experience.

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