Middle Eastern country United Arab Emirates (UAE) has embraced the world of unmanned systems thanks to a project by Northrop Grumman in conjunction with AUVSI Foundation and local UAV manufacturer ADASI.
Northrop Grumman has been working closely with the UAE government with demonstrations of programs such as Fire Scout, for use with the UAE armed forces. "The country has a great interest in aviation in particular and is working to develop greater education in areas such as technology, science and math," said Northrop Grumman's Thomas Twomey. The company launched an Unmanned Air Systems rodeo and saw eleven teams from Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Al Ain take part.
Three of the five members of the winning team from Dubai Men's College were at AUVSI with their successful aircraft - and with the prototype of a new unmanned helicopter that they have been inspired to build since winning the competition in May.
Khalil al Balooshi, Yaqoob al Awadhi and Salem Almheiri
Khalil al Balooshi, Yaqoob al Awadhi and Salem Almheiri explained how they had crashed their aircraft nine times before finally engineering the model that remained airborne for more than 21min - five minutes longer than their nearest competitor.
"We just kept crashing, working out what was wrong, improving it, crashing again and so on," said Al Balooshi.
Wes Bush, the CEO of Northrop Grumman said: "The Rodeo provides an opportunity to transfer knowledge and technology to the younger generation, which is an important element of the strategic vision established by UAE leadership. I'm confident that the enthusiasm we saw at this year's Rodeo competition will inspire its expansion and will further encourage tomorrow's generation of Emirati scientists and engineers to develop similar ground-breaking technologies for the future."
Northrop Grumman confirmed Wednesday that there will be another UAE Rodeo in 2012.
Source: Flight Daily News