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FPL to conduct maiden voyage of FPLAir One large-scale drone

Florida Power & Light
Flower Power & Light's fixed-wing drone FPLAir One at the company's command center in Riviera Beach during a May 12 annual storm drill

As Florida approaches what is typically the most active portion of the Atlantic storm season, Florida Power & Light is planning a flight of its new $1.2 million fixed-wing drone called FPLAir One. The Aug. 10 test flight from Palm Beach County will mark the first large-scale drone to be flown for commercial use outside of FAA test sites. The unmanned drone has a wingspan longer than a Cessna and can fly up to 1,000 miles without needing to refuel. Unlike other drones in FPL’s fleet, the new fixed-wing drone can fly in more volatile conditions including tropical storm-force winds. The new drone will help the nation’s largest utility company assess damage after a storm event and restore power more quickly.

We’ll learn more about the FPLAir One and other technology innovations the company uses to help customers before, during and after a hurricane with FPL Senior Communication Specialist Conlan Kennedy and FPL Technology and Innovation Manager Eric Schwartz, who leads the company’s drone program.