Written by Connie Chen
The newest Prime Air drone, the MK30, has been unveiled as part of the latest expansion to the Prime Air program, and it’s unlike any other drone being used for package delivery.
The design and testing of the MK30 came together in about 18 months through the innovative and collaborative work of our engineers—but it really took many years of development and dozens of prototypes to lead to this moment.
By the end of 2024, these new drones will replace the drones currently used to deliver in the U.S. They will also be deployed in a new, third U.S. state and in soon-to-be-revealed destinations in Italy and the UK.
We revealed renderings of the MK30 last year. Now, here’s a detailed first look at the new, fully-built MK30 drones.
The drone uses industry-leading “sense and avoid” technology that allows them to detect and avoid obstacles including people, pets, and property.
Innovative safety-critical features will allow this drone to deliver packages to customers with smaller backyards and in more densely populated suburban areas.
The MK30 is quieter than previous models. Prime Air’s Flight Science team custom designed the propellers to reduce the MK30’s perceived noise by almost half. Even as the drone is descending, its sound is still quieter than the range of sounds you’ll generally hear in a neighborhood.
It also features improved range to serve more customers: It can now fly twice as far as previous models.
These drones use vertical take-off to get off the ground, before transitioning into horizontal, wing-borne flight. They can carry packages up to five pounds and deliver to customers quickly—typically in one hour or less.