Textron Systems has received approval from the Federal Aviation Administration to fly the company’s small unmanned aerial system at a government-approved civilian UAS test site in Blackstone, Virginia.
The certification allows Textron to operate its Aerosonde drone for agricultural or environmental research in collaboration with the Mid-Atlantic Aviation Partnership, Textron said Monday.
Virginia Tech-led MAAP is one of six test site operators selected to help FAA study how UAS can be safely integrated into the national airspace.
“We have just begun to scratch the surface of what unmanned systems can accomplish for our communities, our economies and our world,” said David Phillips, Textron vice president of small/medium-endurance UAS.
Rose Mooney, MAAP executive director, said the alliance seeks to help drone manufacturers test their platforms and comply with FAA regulations.
The Aerosonde system is built with a Lycoming engine and designed to carry intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance and communication payloads.