July 20-16, 2015 marks the first year that an official UAV Pavilion and Drone Cage have been added to the Innovations Center in the Aviation Gateway Park at 63rd annual EAA Airventure Oshkosh week-long Fly-In, considered the “World’s Greatest Aviation Celebration” at Wittman Regional Airport in Oshkosh.
“EAA AirVenture Oshkosh has always been about innovation and education, and the new Aviation Gateway Park area is an opportunity to showcase these important initiatives in an even bigger way,” said Dave Chaimson, EAA’s vice president of marketing and business development. “This is the place to find out what’s new and learn about gateways to aviation for those interested in careers or new innovative technologies.”
One of the highlights of Aviation Gateway Park will be a new “Drone Cage,” where unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) will be demonstrated each day during AirVenture. Manufacturer demos, educational presentations, obstacle course contests, and free flight can be viewed from all sides of the cage, including from bleachers inside the Park’s Innovations Center.
Hosted by EAA and sponsored by Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, the 80’x80′ Drone Cage will allow for various exhibitor demonstrations, hands-on flight training experiences and challenge competitions each day of the week-long event. “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.
The program, exhibitor pavilion and presentation forums have been organized and managed by Drone Media Group, of which I have been heavily involved with this inaugural year. We’ll have special speakers giving presentations in the Forum Tent to cover topics such as FAA legal issues, applying for a Section 333 Exemption, how UAVs are used in the film/photography/precision ag & mapping industries and more.
There will also be a time each evening where RC Models and sUAVs may freely fly at the park in a restricted space. EAA received FAA authorization to open a designated area on the south half of the Pioneer Airport runway for sUAS/drone/model aircraft operations during specificed evening hours on July 20-25. l It allows AirVenture attendees to operate a small RC model (5 pounds or less) in that designated area from 7-10 p.m. for each of those six evenings. These are the only areas where such operations are permitted at AirVenture. This is another first for this venue.
All-in-all, this is bound to be a fun and exciting time for drones as they become more integrated and accepted into the skies!
Watch for more updates from Oshkosh!