IYK Open House to showcase Cal UAS

Rebecca Neipp

News Review Staff Writer

IYK Open House to showcase Cal UASInyokern Airport is inviting the community to celebrate the current and future expansion of the Cal UAS Portal at IYK with an open house on Saturday, Nov. 16, featuring static displays, aerial demonstrations, children’s activities, visiting dignitaries, food, entertainment, vendors and more.

“Inyokern has achieved incredible growth and is bracing for even more rapid expansion in the future relating to the development of unmanned aerial systems and related aerospace industry,” said Eileen Shibley, Cal UAS team lead.

An effort that began to promote Inyokern Airport as a FAA-designated test site to help integrate unmanned systems into national airspace (see related story, this page) has brought attention to IYK as a desirable location for industry players looking for a place to bring their technology to the next level.

“Having Gov. Jerry Brown name IYK as the headquarters for one of his innovation hubs for incubation of defense, energy and aerospace is just one more stamp of approval that this is the right place for this work,” said Shibley.

While a network of local stakeholders and regional partners have been working full bore on this effort for more than a year, Shibley said the team wanted to give the public an opportunity to see exactly what all the excitement is about.

“We have really encountered nothing but interest and enthusiasm in our endeavor, but we’ve been so focused on nurturing the cause that we haven’t had as much time to share updates with our community as we would like,” said Shibley.

“In a way, this is a comprehensive glimpse of the current growth and future potential of what we think could be the next great industry to be launched in the High Desert aerospace cooridor. We’ve got vendors from all over the country who have shown interest in establishing a presence at Inyokern who will be on hand, information about the many, many commercial applications of UAV, and all this in a setting designed to be entertaining for families who can come spend the day with us.”

Among those attractions are aerial demonstrations by Axel Alvarez, who coordinated the formation flights over September’s Parade of 1000 Flags. World record holders Chip Yates (manned electric aircraft) and Timothy Dawson (unmanned aircraft) will address the crowds about their groundbreaking aerial accomplishments, as well as giving demonstrations.

A Kid’s Kloud will offer bounce houses, a rock-climbing wall and an obstacle course for youth. For the middle-school-age group, local engineers will run hands-on workshops for slot rockets, a wind tunnel and flight simulator.

“This event really celebrates the all the attributes that define our valley — technology, family, entrepreneurialism and the advancement of aerospace,” said Shibley.

“We appreciate all those who have embraced this endeavor and helped us propel Inyokern forward as the birthplace of the next great leaps in unmanned systems development, and this event is both our thank-you for that support and an invitation to forging additional partnerships.

“There are truly no limits to what we can accomplish as a community, and we are excited to have an event that can serve as a defining moment for when our community took that next step forward together!”

Story First Published: 2013-11-06