University Kicks off Aerosonde sUAS Program for Undergrads


Lynchburg, Va.-based Liberty University School of Aeronautics has implemented Aerosonde small unmanned aircraft system training as part of its offered coursework for students pursuing a bachelor of science degree in aeronautics, focusing on unmanned systems.

The first courses kicked off this month with 12 students, who will complete Textron Systems' Aerosonde operations certification over three semesters.

Textron Systems says it developed its Aerosonde sUAS operations curriculum based on decades of experience designing, manufacturing, operating and supporting UAS over more than 1 million cumulative flight hours. Within its nearby Fort Pickett, Va.-based schoolhouse, Textron Systems has graduated more than 300 of its own students to date based on this curriculum.

In late 2014, the Aerosonde system received a Certificate of Waiver or Authorization for operations with the Mid-Atlantic Aviation Partnership (MAAP), one of six authorized test sites established by the Federal Aviation Administration. Liberty University is an academic member of MAAP.

‘The addition of an Aerosonde curriculum offering to Liberty University's renowned School of Aeronautics offers students a unique advantage as they graduate and seek career opportunities,” says David Phillips, Textron Systems’ vice president for small- to medium-endurance UAS.

Late last year, a group of executives from Textron Systems visited Liberty’s School of Aeronautics to discuss this potential program.

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