Innovation Continues to Take Flight in Montgomery County

22 Jun 2021

by Erik Collins


In May, Kroger announced its partnership with Drone Express, a division of TELEGRID, to deliver grocery items from a test store in Centerville, Ohio. 

This is the country’s first drone grocery delivery service, and it’s located right here in Montgomery County, Ohio U.S.A. When you look at the rich history of aviation throughout the Dayton Region, there is no better place for Kroger to pilot this program – no pun intended. 

Montgomery County, Ohio U.S.A. is Aviation 

Our region is the official birthplace of flight and home to the nation’s first aircraft company, the Wright Company Factory. In fact, the Wright Brothers’ B-Flyer was the first airplane to deliver cargo from Dayton to Columbus in 1910.
Today, the aerospace industry is the backbone of Montgomery County. According to NASA, Ohio has had more astronauts than any other state, most notably Neil Armstrong, Judy Resnik, John Glenn, and Sunita Williams. Wright-Patterson Air Force Base is also one of the largest air force bases in the country — and right in our backyard. This institution is pivotal for air and space security and intelligence and employs many bright minds throughout our region. 


Not only do we have the expertise and representation to bolster years of innovation, but local employers and educational entities are continuing to prepare our workforce for the future of aerospace technology. This pivotal idea is evident through programming at local colleges and the array of STEM education centers. 

Grocery Delivery, Reimagined

The launch of Kroger’s new drone grocery delivery service took place on Wednesday, June 9 at the Centerville store. After forewords from Kroger stakeholders and county leadership, a package was delivered from the test site to the Mayor at Centerville City Hall. This historic moment held sentimental value as a piece of the 1903 Wright Brothers’ “Kitty Hawk” flyer traveled within the box — and the great-grandnephew of the Wright Brothers was in attendance to see it through. 


If the launch of this innovative program taught us anything, it’s that autonomous drones have unlimited potential to improve our quality of life. This technology will surely open new opportunities to provide safe, secure, environmentally-friendly service deliveries for retail customers. 

Additionally, I am proud that Montgomery County continues to be a launching pad for the activation of new technology. A special thanks to Kroger and Drone Express for piloting their drone project here — we’re excited to support you in this research and watch your findings soar to new heights.