You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to SpringfieldNewsSun.com

Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.

GREAT REASONS TO SUBSCRIBE TODAY!

  • IN-DEPTH REPORTING
  • INTERACTIVE STORYTELLING
  • NEW TOPICS & COVERAGE
  • ePAPER
X

You have read of premium articles.

Get unlimited access to all of our breaking news, in-depth coverage and interactive features. Starting at just 99c for 8 weeks.

X

Welcome to SpringfieldNewsSun.com

Your source for Clark and Champaign counties’ hometown news. All readers have free access to a limited number of stories every month.

If you are a News-Sun subscriber, please take a moment to login for unlimited access.

Quadcopter drone pending approval to fly at Springfield, Wilmington airports

Sinclair UAV program hopes FAA grants flight certificate by mid-April.


Sinclair Community College presses on in the development, teaching and application of drone technology despite the region not being selected late last year as a federal Unmanned Aerial Systems testing site.

The college announced Monday its Sinclair Workforce Development office has applied for two new Certificates of Authorization from the Federal Aviation Administration to fly a new unmanned aerial system platform at Springfield-Beckley Municipal Airport and Wilmington Air Park.

“I think everyone was surprised that Ohio was not selected,” said Deb Norris, vice president of Sinclair Workforce Development. “We have deep heritage in manufacturing, we have composites, we’re very, very heavy into data analytics. Then Wright-Patterson Air Force Base is a Center of Excellence for UAS. There are so many synergies here that connect with UAS. None of that has changed.”

Certificates were requested for a Lockheed Martin Indago VTOL, meaning “vertical take-off and landing” vehicle. Should the application be approved, it would be the first quadcopter operated by Sinclair’s UAS Training and Certification Center. The college is hoping for approval by mid-April, Norris said. The college anticipates adding more aircraft in the future and is currently in discussions with two additional sites for UAS testing, one of which may be announced soon, she said.

Norris said adding a quadcopter to the fleet will help round out the practical and real-world experience for those participating in classes and programs at the Sinclair UAS Training and Certification Center.

“It really does give you the capability to hover. The application for a quadcopter is a lot more driven toward first responders, where they’re wanting to look over an area,” Norris said. “What we are wanting from a UAS perspective is making sure we have a very holistic view into UAS with a lot of different applications: precision agriculture, geospatial mapping, and first responder readers are the three primary commercial applications we are looking at.”

The vertical take-off and landing capabilities of the Indago will provide training opportunities in smaller airspace areas where Sinclair’s current fleet of three fixed-wing UAVs can’t operate. The college already has FAA certification to fly the fixed-wing craft at both Wilmington and Springfield. Norris said the college is certified to fly in four mile by five mile area at Wilmington and a one mile by two mile area at Springfield.

Annual worldwide spending on unmanned aerial systems will double in 10 years according to the market analysis firm, Teal Group. A 2013 market study conducted by researchers found expenditures for both military and civilian systems would climb from $5.2 billion.

Norris said the college is also seeing big gains in the numbers of students looking to follow that money into careers.

“Our enrollment trends in UAS have been increasing pretty dramatically,” Norris said. “Nobody’s really sure what all these jobs are going to look like. But what we do know – a lot of people emphasize the ability to fly them, operate them – but really the ability is going to come down to the data.”



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Community News

TV star Todd Chrisley’s daughter seriously injured in car accident
TV star Todd Chrisley’s daughter seriously injured in car accident

Get-well wishes are going out to Savannah Chrisley, daughter of Todd and Julie Chrisley from the USA series “Chrisley Knows Best.” Savannah Chrisley was driving in a rainstorm Monday night when she reached down to fix her floor mat. The floor mat became wedged under the gas pedal and her car veered into a guardrail as soon as she looked...
Lowe's lays off about 2,400 assistant store managers
Lowe's lays off about 2,400 assistant store managers

Lowe’s laid off thousands of assistant store managers Tuesday, company officials said. >> Read more trending stories  A company spokeswoman said the layoffs are part of a new store staffing model. The new model will result in the reduction of approximately 1 to 2 assistant store manager positions per store, the spokeswoman said. The...
Captured: Fugitive wanted in death of Orlando Master Sgt. Debra Clayton
Captured: Fugitive wanted in death of Orlando Master Sgt. Debra Clayton

Markeith Loyd, the man wanted in connection with the shooting death of MAster Sgt. Debra Clayton, has been caught.   JUST IN: Here's accused police sergeant killer, Markeith Loyd, being taken into custody at the Orlando Police Department. http://at.wftv.com/2iMLJYdPosted by WFTV Channel 9 on Tuesday, January 17, 2017 Earlier, Orlando police...
How roller-coaster temps affect your health 
How roller-coaster temps affect your health 

Temperatures have been on a dramatic swing for much of January.  We started the month with temperatures nearly 15 degrees above normal before falling to the coolest daily high temperature for January 6th when the temperature only reached 10 degrees.  We dipped below zero on the morning of January 7th. But just 5 days later, temperatures soared...
Wells Fargo rejects 'offensive and antisocial' Black Lives Matter debit card
Wells Fargo rejects 'offensive and antisocial' Black Lives Matter debit card

A schoolteacher in Baltimore, Maryland, says her submission of a personalized Wells Fargo debit card that contained the message "Black Lives Matter" was rejected for being "offensive and antisocial." The Washington Post reported that Rachel Nash, who is white, came up with the idea for the card out of frustration and wanted to use...
More Stories