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Phoenix Air tests drones for medical supply deliveries

Cartersville-based Phoenix Air said it has tested the use of drones for delivery of medical supplies to soldiers in distress.

Phoenix Air, which gained attention for its transport of Ebola patients, said it flew a drone carrying four units of blood, hemorrhage control instruments and gauzes at a Mississippi National Guard training site.

In the test at Camp Shelby in Mississippi, an autonomous Vapor 55 helicopter flew seven miles to the roof of a building to deliver the supplies, then returned to its starting point. Phoenix Air said the concept was developed last year by a trauma surgeon and Vapor unmanned helicopter developer Pulse Aerospace.

Phoenix Air last year gained approval from the Federal Aviation Administration for commercial unmanned aircraft operations.

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Business reporter Kelly Yamanouchi covers airlines and the airport.