Will Detroit become next drone city?
Photo courtesy of Detroit Aircraft Corporation
Detroit could be a major player in the rapidly growing unmanned aircraft sector. The “motor city” has the engineering talent and manufacturing capacity to develop and commercialize drone technology. And, the Detroit Aircraft Corporation is already at work, building drones designed to fly reconnaissance missions for law enforcement and first responders, or to deliver packages.
The company’s six-person staff is developing octocopters, quadcopters and other aircraft that can carry a 12-pound package and include a military-grade radio and first-person viewing technology with a remote camera. It hopes to have a product on the market in three months that will sell for under $10,000.
The commercial use of drones has had a lot of media attention in recent days, and much progress depends on the FAA and its testing program for civilian use of the aircraft. DAC would like Michigan to be one of the six states where the agency will test commercial unmanned air traffic. The company founded the Michigan Unmanned Aerial Systems Consortium to work with the Michigan Economic Development Corporation’s Advanced Aerial Systems Consortia to become an FAA-sanctioned national UAS Test Sites.
The company’s website says it provides unmanned aerial systems (UAS) design, integration, testing and aerial services for commercial and creative clients, pending FAA authorization. It formed a public/private partnership with Coleman A. Young International Airport (Detroit City), designed to position Metro Detroit for leadership in this promising new chapter in aerospace. The partnership is designed to provide clients with a low-cost environment to facilitate creative content production, R&D, manufacturing and testing of advanced ground and aircraft systems.