Kroger takes step forward in powered flight with milestone drone delivery

CENTERVILLE — The Kroger Company took a step forward in powered flight Wednesday when it conducted its inaugural flight for a drone delivery of groceries in Centerville.

One of three different drones made the first delivery today. The drone flew about a half mile during its first delivery Wednesday morning from the Centerville Kroger to City Hall.

Centerville Mayor Brooks Compton said the grocery delivery was part of the 138 years of aviation history, most of it in the Miami Valley, courtesy of the Wright Brothers.

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Compton received the first delivery. He was delivered a package of long grain rice, as well as a piece of fabric from the Wright Brother’s plane used in their first flight from Kitty Hawk in 1903.

Steven Wright, Great-Grandnephew of the Wright Brothers was in attendance for the delivery.

“We’re here to help turn the page on the next chapter of powered flight,” Wright said.

According to Ethan Grob, Director of Last Mile Delivery at Kroger, the drones are autonomous and do not have a pilot on had to assist with take off and landing.

The drones stay 10 feet off the ground to avoid any problems with people or pets.

The test program of the drone delivery system, in collaboration with Drone Express, is only offered at one location in the United States and that is at the Kroger store on SR 48 in Centerville. Deliveries are limited to being within a mile of the store.