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Aviation Gateway Park Brings Innovation, Education, and UAS to AirVenture

  • Test your drone-flying skills at Embry-Riddle sUAS Challenge
    Visit EAA’s Aviation Gateway Park and try your hand at the Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University’s Small (UAS) Challenge.
Test your drone-flying skills at Embry-Riddle sUAS Challenge
Want to test your drone-flying skills? Then head on over to EAA’s Aviation Gateway Park at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2015 for Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University’s Small Unmanned Aircraft System Challenge. The sUAS Challenge, which will include both obstacle and speed courses for the unmanned flying vehicles commonly referred to as drones, has daily competitions beginning Sunday, July 19—the day before opening day—through Sunday, July 26. “Aviation Gateway Park is already going to be one of the liveliest places to be during AirVenture 2015, and this sUAS Challenge will bring even more interest to the area that focuses on aviation fun, opportunities, and innovation,” said Dave Chaimson, EAA’s vice president of marketing and business development.

“Our thanks go to Embry-Riddle for creating this competition as a way to draw more people into the possibilities of flight.” The sUAS Challenge is open to participants ages 10 and up, with a maximum of 15 competitors each day registered on a first-come, first-served basis. Each day’s challenge will be held separately at the drone cage at Aviation Gateway Park, beginning with an afternoon operators’ meeting followed by competition from 3 to 5 p.m. There will be qualification flying followed by an elimination bracket for the final four competitors each day. “This is a terrific, fun way to get people involved in hands-on flying and the whole new world of unmanned aerial vehicles, and we’re very excited to be involved with EAA to bring this challenge to Oshkosh,” said David Thirtyacre, Embry-Riddle assistant professor who is coordinating the contest.

Participants can register during EAA AirVenture at the Embry-Riddle Experience exhibit in Aviation Gateway Park. Unmanned aircraft will be supplied for competitors courtesy of Hobbico and Horizon Hobby LLC, including Blade 180 QX HD or Dromida Ominus systems. Weather or other factors may cause alterations or cancellation of each day’s competition.

July 18, 2015 - A brand-new neighborhood of flight is part of EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2015, as Aviation Gateway Park brings together imagination, ingenuity, and possibilities in one area at the 63rd annual fly-in convention.

Aviation Gateway Park is located on James Ray Boulevard, just northwest of the FAA control tower and is sponsored by Piper Aircraft. This new area builds upon the success of the College Park innovation/education area launched in 2014.

The area opens spectacularly on Monday, July 20, with a public dedication at 8:30 a.m. at which a quadcopter will deliver a pair of scissors to EAA Chairman Jack J. Pelton and Piper CEO Simon Caldecott, who will then cut the ribbon to open the facility.

“Aviation Gateway Park and its four different venues introduce exciting flight innovations, new technology, and aviation-based startup companies,” said Dave Chaimson, EAA’s vice president of marketing and business development. “Through all its activities, it offers numerous ways to engage with aviation ranging from hands-on experiences to career exploration. Most of all, it will be abuzz with plenty of exciting activity and enthusiasm in an air-conditioned setting.”

Among the featured areas at Aviation Gateway Park:

Innovation Center, presented by the National Air Traffic Controllers Association (NATCA) and featuring world-class organizations such as NASA with special 100th anniversary activities, SLS/Orion, Lockheed Martin (with its F-35 simulator), Terrafugia’s flying car, and the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh’s AeroInnovate program that features five innovative startup aerospace companies.

Drone cage, presented by Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, features an 80-by-80-by-30-foot flying area with indoor and outdoor seating. Some of the world’s largest unmanned aircraft system manufacturers, and the Academy of Model Aeronautics, will be represented with flying demonstrations as well as the ERAU Small (UAS) Challenge, a daily drone flying competition for attendees.

Flying activities will be featured on live video feeds from the drones, presented by Multicopter Warehouse, to screens in the area.

Education/Career Center, with more than 25 university aviation programs as well as representatives from airlines throughout the nation throughout the week. The center offers resources and contacts for young people seeking aviation education and careers as well as aviation professionals seeking advancement in their current careers. Special activities include a July 20 college tailgate party, July 22 job fair, and July 24 college social.

Forums Area sponsored by NATCA, with daily sessions and seminars covering a wide spectrum of topics, from drone flying to NASA technology.

Aviation Gateway Park also features green space and air-conditioned areas, with plenty of room to meet friends and connect with fellow aviation enthusiasts.

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