After 16 months of preparation, Utah Valley University's (UVU) School of Aviation Sciences recently achieved its first flight of an unmanned aircraft system (UAS).
Russ Hopkinson, Aviation Sciences director of safety and the mission commander of the flight, worked for more than a year to get a Certificate of Waiver or Authorization (COA) from the Federal Aviation Administration, says the university.
According to Thomas Sturtevant, interim dean of the College of Aviation and Public Services, the team plans to fly at least once a month to “progressively refine operational procedures and increase mission complexity.”
During the flight in June, the university conducted six different operations, which tested flight control and UAS stability. The entire duration of the flights totaled 52 minutes.
UVU says it plans to add UAS-specific classes to its curriculum in the future.