Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University has become the first institution to acquire the Penguin C UAS for flight training.
The University says the acquisition opened the door for missions controlled from multiple ground-based stations, called ‘remote-split operations,’ as well as flight BVLOS operations.
In the US it has been estimated that by 2025, the commercial drone industry will generate more than $82 billion for the economy and support as many as 100,000 new jobs, something Embry-Riddle want to help towards.
The arrival of three Penguin C aircraft earlier this year helped towards that, making it possible for the University to serve around 1,500 students university-wide.
It also hopes it can be an ‘unmatched powerhouse provider of both UAS flight and simulation-based training.’
The fixed-wing Penguin C aircraft has a 10.8-foot wingspan and is capable of flying up to 20 hours over a 60-mile range while carrying electrical, optical and infrared camera sensors.
Professor Mike Wiggins, chair of Aeronautical Science on the Daytona Beach Campus, commented on the move.
He said: “Students currently learn to fly small fixed-wing survey platforms, and beginning in 2020, the military-grade Penguin C aircraft.”
He added: “The goal is to ensure our graduates have the skills they need to run a successful business or operation using all types of UAS in a safe, responsible manner.”