EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2015 attendees can get hands-on experience at the controls of unmanned flying machines as part of the Small Unmanned Aerospace System (sUAS) Challenge during this week’s fly-in.
The sUAS Challenge, which will include both obstacle and speed courses for the unmanned flying vehicles commonly referred to as drones, are part of Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University’s aviation mobile interactive exhibit, the Embry-Riddle Experience.
The competition is open to participants ages 12 and older with previous experience flying unmanned systems. With a maximum of 15 competitors registered each day on a first-come, first-served basis, each day’s challenge will be held separately at the drone cage at Aviation Gateway Park, beginning with an afternoon operators’ meeting followed by competition from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. Qualification flying will be followed by an elimination bracket for the final four competitors each day.
The 53-foot trailer known as the Embry-Riddle Experience also includes unmanned aircraft demonstrations, aviation and unmanned simulators, a virtual crash lab and information about the university’s more than 75 degree programs.
Simulators in the Embry-Riddle Experience provide a variety of fixed-wing, rotary and multirotor aircraft models in operating settings such as airfield and steep soaring slope locales in the bayou, desert and mountains.
Another feature of the Embry-Riddle Experience is the Virtual Crash Lab (VLAB), which was developed in conjunction with the university’s Aircraft Accident Investigation curriculum and is designed to allow participants to interactively inspect a crashed commercial aircraft. Operators can move and survey the crash site, inspect the fuselage and debris and take photos with the use of Oculus Goggles.