SPRINGFIELD, Ohio (WDTN) — The future of flight is taking off in Ohio. Industry leaders met in Springfield Wednesday, November 10, 2021 for the 2021 Advanced Mobility Showcase.
Leaders in the aviation industry got a first look at some of the latest technology in air travel.
“So the Wright Brothers started here with the first revolution of flight. Then we had a huge boom in the auto manufacturing business, and now what I see, this is the third revolution in flight which is kind of the combination of the two,” Elaine Bryant, the VP for Aerospace and Defense at the Dayton Development Coalition, said.
The Advanced Mobility Showcase featured some of the work industry leaders are doing to move air travel forward, including making aircrafts electric and autonomous. Kyle Clark founded Beta Technologies and opened an electric aircraft charging and flight testing station at the Springfield-Beckley Airport.
Clark said the goal is to be able to carry cargo across the country using his aircraft. He said this will ensure a more sustainable and reliable supply chain of goods.
“Our aircraft allows for things to go directly from Dayton to Cincinnati. It’s a hub by-pass type solution with a carbon neutral aircraft,” Clark explained.
Clark said choosing Springfield, Ohio for one of his operations was an easy decision.
“I was really impressed by the pragmatism, obviously catalyzed by the air force research labs, but pragmatism of the supply base and the people I met here at the airport,” Clark said.
Kitty Hawk, a California-based company, was also at the showcase. The company tested its aircraft using technology made in Springfield.
“It was controlled autonomously and we had SkyVision that was telling us if we had any dangers in our path and if we had found something, we would’ve done something. But it went very smoothly,” Chris Anderson, COO of Kitty Hawk, explained.
The aircraft tested by Kitty Hawk will eventually be used to taxi people to and from different locations.
State leaders hope Kitty Hawk and other aviation companies will make Ohio a permanent home for their businesses.
“We’re hoping to turn it into a center of investment where companies base their operations here, they’ll do research here. Ultimately, they’ll do their manufacturing, testing, and development; their whole cycle here,” Rep. Warren Davidson (R – Ohio) said.
Congressman Davidson said the goal is to create jobs that will be needed for years to come.
“We believe that’s going to lead to this area being an even bigger hub that will draw investment for headquarters for these businesses, and ultimately manufacturing operations. It’s going to create jobs, it’s going to create investment opportunities for these communities,” Rep. Davidson said.