Rose Mooney, vice president of engineering consulting company Archangel Aero LLC, has been chosen to lead the unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) test site operated by Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech). The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) selected Virginia Tech as one of six national test site operators in late December 2013.
According to the university, Mooney will begin immediately as executive director of the Mid-Atlantic Aviation Partnership (MAAP). MAAP is a joint effort of Virginia Tech, Rutgers University and the University of Maryland that operates UAS test sites in New Jersey, Maryland and Virginia under the auspices of the FAA.
Prior to Archangel, Mooney spent seven years as the director of engineering and then director of UAS airspace integration for AAI Unmanned Aircraft/Textron Systems, where she developed and managed flight test sites, pilots, integration labs, systems testing, and design and specialty engineering. Her career started at Westinghouse Electric Corp., where she helped develop robots for manufacturing, and from there, she moved to the medical device industry.
In addition, Mooney has served as president of the UAS National Industry Team, co-chaired the RTCA Special Committee-203 for UAS, was a member of the Aerospace Industries Association UAS subcommittee and participated in the NASA Advisory Council UAS subcommittee. She is also a student pilot.
As MAAP executive director, Mooney will respond to the partnership's board of directors as well as leadership from the three states. She will be a faculty member associated with the Institute for Critical Technology and Applied Science at Virginia Tech as well.
‘The country is making an important transition in aviation similar to what happened with the introduction of jet engines decades ago,’ Mooney says. ‘Our job is to create a common goal – the FAA requires data, safety and a no-cost research arrangement, while people interested in economic development see opportunities to bring business and industry to their states. We need to tie the research and economic development objectives together with a common vision and to offer common benefits.’