From The Verge:
Amazon has asked the Federal Aviation Administration if it can start testing delivery drones in its own facilities in a bid to speed up the rollout of its Amazon Prime Air shipping service. The company sent a letter to the FAA this week, in which it requested the opportunity to carry out research and development on the unmanned aerial vehicles designed to carry packages to Amazon customers. Currently, if the Seattle-based company wants to test new designs for its drones outside, it has to travel to one of six FAA-approved sites dotted around the country. If its request for exemption from FAA rules is granted, it would mean the company's R&D team — which includes an ex-NASA astronaut — wouldn't need to leave the Amazon campus to trial new drones.
The retail giant has been rapidly iterating on drone technology since it announced plans for unmanned aerial delivery late last year. In April, Amazon boss Jeff Bezos said the company had already tested the fifth and sixth iterations of the unmanned aerial vehicles it plans to use to deliver goods, with the seventh and eighth being designed. In Amazon's request for exemption, it says it's now ready to test the eighth- and ninth-generation vehicles.
In the same document, Amazon offers up some details about its planned delivery drones, saying that it plans for them to be capable of travelling over 50 miles per hour while carrying up to 5 pounds worth of products. CThe request for exemption also states that drones will remain within line of sight of observers during testing, and will stop their journey and return to a specific point if their communications link is severed.