Drone

Drone delivery record likely held by one surprising Virginia couple


What’s the drone delivery record for most orders placed — and subsequently flown to a single home? It might be 1,200 drone deliveries. The orders have been shipped over a span of roughly four years — and the customers placing the order don’t claim to be tech early-adopters.

The drone delivery record is believed to be held by 84-year-old Susie Sensmeier. At least that’s according to Google-adjacent drone delivery company Wing, which is boasting the news. (Note that the record hasn’t been independently verified by records agencies such as Guinness World Records or World Record Academy). But given just how many orders she’s placed, it seems unlikely there is any other single customer who can claim as many drone deliveries as she can. After all, the last guy we talked to and was considered a drone delivery superuser had made an impressive (yet paltry in comparison) orders via drone to his home in Durham, North Carolina. Those orders were fulfilled by another drone delivery company, Flytrex.

Susie, along with her 83-year-old husband Paul, have placed more than 1,200 orders via Wing’s drone delivery service, which have been shipped to their front yard in Christiansburg, Virginia. Those drone deliveries have been made over the course of four years, beginning in 2019.

Among the specific orders she has made include:

  • 371 hot meals from a local Mexican restaurant
  • 210 blueberry muffins from a local bakery
  • 107 bottles of orange juice
  • 93 boxes of Girl Scout Cookies from a local chapter
  • 82 bottles of sparkling water
  • 31 fruit cups
  • 11 cans of chicken noodle soup

How Susie Sensmeier set that drone delivery record

Susie Sensmeier (right) and Paul Sensmeier (left). Photo courtesy of Wing.

In short, drone deliveries have been practical for the couple, who were one of Wing’s first customers back in 2019 largely out of luck that they lived in one of the right neighborhoods served in the company’s early days.

According to Wing, Susie has vision issues and cannot drive anymore, which has been a key motivator for them to rely on delivery services. The products she’s order range from practical groceries (toothbrushes, toothpaste, sunscreen, lunch and dinner), health-related items including cold medicine and COVID-19 test kits, as well as hobby activities such as playing cards and colored pencils.

“Things happen and your body wears out,” Susie Sensmeier said. “Your eyes get worse. Your hearing gets worse. Your legs and hips and knees get worse. Being able to get a good meal by drone, and over-the-counter medicines, has been really convenient.”

Wing claims that Susie gets her items fast too. The average delivery time from the moment she clicked ‘order’ was 12 minutes and 14 seconds, according to Wing.

How Wing has grown since 2019

Wing’s service has certainly matured since Susie started ordering products via drone in 2019. Just this spring, Wing gave its operating model a major overhaul, largely due to a piece of hardware called Autoloader, which is a key component of the newly-christened Wing Delivery Network.

Rather than having a drone pick up a package at one point and drops it off at another within a single flight, the new, more-advanced Wing Delivery Network links drones through the Wing Delivery Network. From there, drones can pick up, drop off, travel, and charge in whatever pattern makes the most sense for the entire system which is theoretically more efficient.

Since 2019, Wing has been delivering consumer products such as Walgreens drugstore items, gifts and sweet treats from Sugar Magnolia and to-go food from DoorDash. It runs in a few select areas around the U.S., Australia and soon, Ireland.

Never tried DoorDash before? Get $5 off your first order when you sign up for DoorDash here.

Though its footprint is growing, Wing is generally seen as the second-largest drone delivery company in the world, coming in behind Zipline. 

What’s next?

Wing shared a charming video of the couple in action, where they detail how they got into deliveries as well as showing drones at their house:

But the Sensmeier’s might not be able to continue their record. They’re eventually going to move to an assisted living facility — but that building doesn’t have drone delivery (or at least not yet). But she cites the silver lining.

“The drone really was a lifesaver,” Susie Sensmeier said. “The drone kept us in our house a couple years longer than we would have been able to stay otherwise.”