First In Flight

2013

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Sponsored Section GoinG the Distance. disciplines," Director Kyle Snyder says. He previously developed research and programs involving unmanned aerial vehicles at Middle Tennessee State University. His duties at N.C. State include ramping up similar activities, as well as leading other aerospace and aviation initiatives for the university and the state. The U.S. military has used unmanned aircraft for years, but their use in domestic airspace is in its infancy, Snyder says. Such vehicles can be the first to assess hurricane damage and spot stranded residents in isolated coastal communities. They can also survey crop conditions by taking infrared images that detect harvest-zapping diseases before a farmer can with his naked eye. "The agricultural applications for this alone are absolutely huge." Moline, Ill.-based John Deere & Co. is already working to develop a UAV product line. N.C. Department of Transportation and air-transportation-center leaders are collaborating with officials in sparsely populated Hyde County to win federal authorization to use the small waterside hamlet of Engelhard and its airport as a testing space for unmanned aircraft. Engelhard offers a secluded test site that is bracketed by military-restricted airspace, which keeps many commercial flights out of the sky above the county. The airport's 4,700-foot runway currently sees little use beyond the visiting waterfowl hunters who fly private aircraft into the wildlife-rich region. Coastal access and proximity to FAA regulators in Washington, D.C., also work in the site's favor. The proposed testing range would be 3 miles long, 1 mile wide and 5,000 feet high. "If we can pull it together it would be a great place to fly." Companies such as Blue Force and UTC Aerospace are already working on components for unmanned aircraft, which could lift North Carolina's next aviation chapter. Meanwhile, in an additional example of the strength of the cluster that stretches from conception to application, Snyder and his colleagues are consulting experts at N.C. State's Agricultural Extension Service to piece together land-management solutions that can be tried out once Engelhard Airport gets the green light for testing. "There are going to be so many applications," Snyder says. "That's why it's so exciting." F E B R U A R Y 2 0 1 3 If the success of your business depends on access to global markets, North Carolina's Global TransPark has you covered. With our combination of air, rail, highways, and access to international ports, your goods can go across the street or around the world. And with our Foreign Trade Zone beneÀts, international commerce becomes easier, faster, and cheaper. No matter what your industry, chances are the North Carolina Global TransPark has what you are looking for. Better hurry, though. We're moving fast. ncgtp.com Your Professional Advantage... ...to Quality Manufacturing ProEdge Precision 113 Hatfield Road Statesville, North Carolina 28625 Phone: 704.872.3393 Fax: 704.872.7576 www.proedgeprecision.com A Division of Southern Prestige Industries – Established 1979

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