Amazon to trial drones for parcel delivery

13 Nov 2014


Amazon will trial drones that would deliver parcels by air at a testing facility in Cambridge, Mail Online reported.

The company is planning to hire a flight operations engineer who would test how the drones would work and ensure they were safe.

According to the company's advertisement, the engineer would operate as a safety observer for a service the company called Prime Air flight, an extension of its Prime Delivery service.

The selected candidate would monitor flights both in large hangars and on the streets, specifically, they would be 'Performing safety analyses to ensure our vehicles and operations are safe'.

The company is seeking candidates having flight test experience with both manned and unmanned aircraft and with at least five years' experience, possibly in the defence forces.

According to commentators, the company might be looking to leverage the experience of the UK's major defence contractors, such as BAE Systems, which have built drones for military purposes.

Earlier Amazon had acquired a Cambridge based start-up company, called Evi Technologies, focused on developing communications between computers and humans.

The flight operations engineer was among several posts being advertised by Amazon, which would be based at Evi's offices.

Meanwhile, The Telegraph reported that the Seattle-based company had mainly developed its Prime Air programme in the US, but had now started building up its team in Cambridge, where it ran a research and development office.

The career page of the company lists positions of Flight Operations Engineer, Project Manager,  Site Leader and Software Develoment Engineer in the UK, which it looking to fill up.

According to the advertisements, Amazon was "working on the future" and the company was looking for people who could "drive innovation".
"If you want to apply state-of-the-art technologies to solve extreme-scale real world problems… If you want the satisfaction of providing visible benefit to end-users in an iterative fast paced environment… This is your opportunity," the jobs adverts state.

While each of the roles had specific requirements, the job description for the Flight Operations Engineer was the most revealing when it came to Amazon's drone plans.

"You can expect to collaborate on test plans, plan the test evolution, and execute the flights while working closely with our flight engineering and flight test teams in Seattle.

"We're looking for aerospace, systems, or other engineers with extensive UAS [unmanned aircraft systems] flight experience. Success will require attention to detail, a safety-oriented attitude, flexibility, and creative problem solving."

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