Pendleton UAS test range expands to support aerial mobility and unmanned flight tests

The city of Pendleton, Oregon, has completed construction of a USD15 million industrial park dedicated to Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) operators and manufacturers. The park is located on the Eastern Oregon Regional Airport and the city envisions the UAS range being used by stakeholders in the aerial mobility and last-mile delivery industries, according to a report by TransportUp.

The city is nearing completion of two brand new 18,000 sq ft hangars which will be ready in April 2021 for use on the range. The hangars are in addition to those purpose built for Airbus’ Vahana project which has been operating at the airport for the past 2.5 years, says the report.

The Pendleton UAS Range (PUR) is designed to facilitate a wide variety of testing needs through logistical coordination. It aims to work with operators “to support testing needs such as: procedures development, engineering, integration, modeling and simulation requirements are met though our organic capabilities and strategic relationships.”

For OEM’s in the aerial mobility space, the UAS range at Pendleton will offer the infrastructure needed to conduct a complete developmental and certification flight test campaign. The range also has the ability to supply chase aircraft for extended range operation as well as a mobile operations center.

Moreover, the airport is strategically located to maximize operational efficiency for OEM’s. In the high desert of Oregon, the area regularly experiences VFR conditions and has plenty of open airspace to conduct flight tests without interference from local traffic.

Pendleton UAS Range signals a significant investment by the city for the aerial mobility industry. The city has built a world class facility with amenities to conduct a complete flight test campaign. OEM’s now have a plug and play solution when it comes to testing their prototypes in a safe and professional environment, says Pendleton.

(Image: Airbus Vahana eVTOL prototype, PUR)

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