Self-piloted drone (for Passengers & Cargo) will be tested in Oregon

Self-piloted drone will be tested in Oregon

November 21, 2016 4:45 am

BEND, Oregon – SOAR Oregon has landed a contract with Airbus to test a new kind of drone. That means it will be tested at one of the three test ranges in Oregon – Pendleton, Warm Springs and Tillamook. The drone would signify a breakthrough in unmanned aircraft systems.

It is a self-piloted flying vehicle being designed to move both cargo or individual passengers. SOAR Oregon is partnering with Modern Technology Solutions Incorporated in the tests which are aimed at ironing out major risks from the vehicle, according to a news release from MTSI, based in Alexandria, Virginia.

The testing of the vehicle, named Vahana, is expected to culminate with an actual test flight at the end of 2017.

MTSI is an employee-owned engineering firm. SOAR Oregon supports the state’s three FAA-approved UAS test ranges, including the one at the Eastern Oregon Regional Airport.

MTSI states that the contract with Airbus Group covers the Alpha Phase of the project. MTSI will lead the flight test effort and SOAR Oregon will provide test range support and other services.

“The MTSI team is proud to be selected as the flight test lead for Vahana,” Civil and Commercial Director Paul Linnell said in a prepared statement. “Vahana sought out industry partners with deep experience in flight test and unmanned aircraft test range services to support this innovate project and they found that in MTSI and SOAR Oregon.”

In addition to commercial markets, MTSI also provides engineering and technology solutions to the defense industry and intelligence community.


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