Ohio is the birthplace of the Wright Brothers and 21 astronauts, including the late John Glenn and Neil Armstrong. It’s home to aerospace assets such as NASA’s John H. Glenn Research Center and the Air Force Research Laboratory at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, along with more than 600 aerospace companies that make Ohio the nation’s biggest aerospace supplier.
UC Aerospace has an equally storied history. Armstrong came to UC to teach aerospace engineering after being the first person to set foot on the moon during NASA’s historic Apollo 11 mission.
UC engineers have worked on some of the world’s most ambitious aerospace projects, from the space shuttle program to the International Space Station.
“As we were establishing the team to perform this important study, UC was a clear choice as a partner due to its rich history in advancing aerospace and the impactful work by the UAV Master Lab in support of many Ohio initiatives,” said Rubén Del Rosario, senior director for aerospace systems at Crown and a former director of aeronautics at the NASA Glenn Research Center.
“Ohio is rich in aviation from the Wright Brothers to John Glenn and Neil Armstrong to being the largest state supplier to the aviation industry,” Cohen said. “Many states and cities are hoping to launch various uses of unmanned aerial systems and small passenger and freight carrying vehicles, powered by batteries rather than gas, to serve the public in many ways.”
Cohen said UC will examine these technologies for use in both urban and rural areas to help chart a path toward a robust, environmentally friendly transportation mode and will provide guidance for Ohio’s future investments and research in these technologies.
“Ohio is a leader and one of only a handful of locations in the country setting an ambitious path toward advanced air mobility,” said Crown Chairman and CEO Al Khan. “The state’s political and financial commitments match its rich aviation heritage. We are honored to help the state advance to the next strategic level with data and analysis of these transformative technologies.”
Advanced air mobility technologies are already being deployed for pipeline, power line, rail and road inspections. Meanwhile, companies like UPS and Google Wing are pursuing package delivery with autonomous drones. Others such as Uber are pursuing the future of air taxis.
“We believe their use will become more common once more of these vehicles become certified and companies like UPS, Amazon and others scale toward routine operations,” Del Rosario said. “All of this fits well with Ohio’s urban landscape and the need to efficiently connect rural areas. Through this study we will examine how Ohio can capitalize on these benefits and we are delighted to have UC as our partner.”