Drone Manufacturer Busy Southeast Of Pottstown
BRIDGEPORT PA – Flying drones designed and recently tested for industrial and commercial use are being built only 20 miles southeast of Pottstown in the Norristown suburb of Bridgeport, according to a Virginia Tech University press release.
The university said its Mid-Atlantic Aviation Partnership used a fixed-wing unmanned aircraft, built by American Aerospace Technologies Inc. on Ford Street in Bridgeport, to conduct its first inspection late last month (March 23, 2015) of an energy pipeline right-of-way owned by Colonial Pipeline Company.
American Aerospace provided and piloted the drone, which can be equipped with a special sensor package to identify threats to pipeline integrity, over an 11-mile stretch in rural Virginia. It was followed by a piloted chase helicopter for safety purposes.
Virginia Tech researchers say the flight was a step toward making aerial inspections of energy pipelines safer and more economical. Ultimately, the Federal Aviation Administration must decide whether unmanned aircraft operations for utility inspections meet safety standards.
Photo from American Aerospace Technologies Inc.