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Oklahoma State University

OSU to host unmanned aerial vehicle airshow and speedfest

Tue, April 26, 2011

Oklahoma State University and its partners will host the First Annual UAV Invitational Airshow and Speedfest this Saturday, April 30, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. to dedicate its new unmanned aircraft flight station and give the public a free look at state-of-the-art unmanned aerial systems in operation.

The come-and-go event will start with a dedication ceremony at 9:15 a.m. for the new OSU Unmanned Aircraft Flight Station, located 12 miles east of Stillwater. The flight station’s runway and landing strip will serve as the staging area for all the aerial events throughout the day, including a seven-round race of high-speed aircraft, produced by OSU Aerospace Design students, according to Dr. Larry Hoberock, head of the School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at OSU.

“The ‘Speedfest’ races are scheduled every hour through 4 p.m. and feature a pylon race and top speed contest when planes will fly in excess of 150 mph,” said Hoberock. “There will also be various demonstrations throughout the day including jets, helicopters, aerobatics and warbird tactics.”

The day will conclude with awards at 4:30 p.m. and open flight times, for invitational pilots, starting at 4:45 p.m.

Several static displays will also be set up for viewing, including the UML’s Military Tiger Shark UAV, the record-breaking Dragonfly electric UAV, OSU research UAVs, OSU/NASA XHAB Inflatable Space Habitat, a rocket display, Design Intelligence Inc. information booth, Stillwater RC (remote control) Flyers information booth, and various airplane displays.

Spectators are urged to bring items to ensure their comfort, such as folding chairs, hats, sunglasses, insect repellant, sun protection, as well as optional items such as cameras, binoculars and a bottle of water. Beverages and food will be available for purchase at the site as well.

Sponsors for the event include retired Col. Joseph Rea, OSU alum 1948, 1956; Andrew S. Arena Memorial fund; Shlumberger, Inc.; OSU School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering; University Multispectral Laboratories; NASA Oklahoma Space Grant Consortium and OSU Student Government Association.

A free hourly shuttle service will be available to take the public from the Payne County Fairgrounds to the aircraft flight area starting at 7:30 a.m. To travel to the flight area yourself, from the intersection of Perkins Road and Highway 51 in Stillwater, take Highway 51 east approximately 12 miles to Clay Road. Turn north onto Clay Road and go 3.2 miles to the flight station, which is on the right. There are some four-way interesections along the way without stop signs, so be sure to yield at each one.

If the event should be cancelled due to rain, the rain date will be Saturday, May 14. For more information and photos, go to http://speedfest.okstate.edu/.