Monday, February 13, 2017

Interest in aircraft, UAS soar at Aviation Day at the Capitol

The aviation industry is incredibly important to the state of Kansas. On Thursday, that fact was celebrated at the Aviation Day at the Capitol. The event welcomed both the public and legislatures to tour and learn from 30 aviation businesses and organizations.

"Aviation, as you all know, has a huge impact in our state," Transportation Secretary Richard Carlson said. "Kansas is home to one of the five world-largest clusters of aviation. More than 48,000 jobs are created directly by our businesses, our tenants and other activities located at commercial services and general aviation airports in the state of Kansas."
The Kansas Air National Guard was just one of the 30 organizations that were represented at Aviation Day at the Capitol. 

Ed Young, Vice President of the Kansas Commission on Aerospace Education (KCAE), said that this event drives all levels of aviation together so they can meet with legislatures about how important aviation is to Kansas.

Joe N. Miniace, the Central Region Regional Administrator for the Federal Aviation Administration, said that 76 percent of the world's fleet of aircraft have been manufactured in Kansas.

One of the biggest presences at this year's Aviation Day at the Capitol was Unmanned Aerial Systems. Dean of Research at Kansas State University, Kurt Barnhart, said that the one of the major reasons for the use of UAS devices was to help people.
Kansas State University's Booth at the Aviation Day at the Capitol event. 

“We are doing the things we have always done, with less risk and a fraction of the cost,” Barnhart said. "We are excited. It's a revolution." 

The University of Kansas Department of Aerospace Engineering partnered with NASA to display a 65 pound UAS system, dubbed the Argus, that will be testing flight in the next month. 
University of Kansas' 65 pound UAS, Argus, on display at the Aviation Day at the Capitol event. 

The Argus is an airborne radar sensor built for collision avoidance. 
With over 2.5 hours of flight time, this device could replace older models that fly over glaciers in West Greenland to determine the thickness of the ice. The older models could only fly for 1 hour. 

Businesses like Westar Energy, explained that at times they use UAS devices when they inspect potential damage to various infrastructures because it could be safer than sending out a technician in dangerous situations.

Check out a video of some of the speakers at the event below:

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