MGC CERTIFIED BY FAA TO FLY PTERA UNMANNED AERIAL VEHICLE
The Georgia Aviation Campus of Middle Georgia College was issued its first Certificate of Authorization from the Federal Aviation Administration to fly the PTERA UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle) at the Heart of Georgia Regional Airport in Eastman. The PTERA (Prototype Technology Evaluation Research Aircraft) was built in 2010 by MGC faculty and students, and is one of the largest all composite UAV airframes built using advance carbon fiber technologies and high density foam, said Chad Dennis, the Unmanned Aerial Systems Program Coordinator for the Georgia Centers of Innovation and MGC Aircraft Structural Technology Instructor.
MGC is one of only 22 colleges and universities ever approved to fly a UAV in the National Air System, said Dennis. The Aviation campus will conduct a series of flights this summer to test the PTERA’s new technology. “We want to test for any significant wear or critical fractures,” said Dennis. “We want to verify that our advanced composite design concepts to eliminate weight while leaving us with a robust platform will hold up better than traditional composite structures.”
Dennis said, “Georgia has long been a national leader in developing aviation technologies. Unmanned aviation shall be no exception. I have seen the job market for UAV’s go from a few postings a month to hundreds of postings. Unmanned is the next big era in aviation and Middle Georgia College is on the forefront.”