Americans were not the first people to attempt flying but, thanks to the Wright Brothers, we were the first to truly fly. A couple of bicycle mechanics from Dayton, Ohio bested the world’s greatest budding aviation engineers. Southwestern Ohio is at it again and they won’t even need to schlep to North Carolina to test out their gear.
It’s easy to think of Silicon Valley as the place where all new things are designed, but the reality is that a mixture of politics, the placement of land grant educational institutions, and demography mean that not everything happens there.
In fact, construction is beginning on a facility called the National Advanced Air Mobility Center of Excellence in Springfield, Ohio. Per the Springfield News-Sun:
The air mobility center will be a 30,000 square-foot, two-story facility that will accommodate university and government research as well as companies developing advanced air mobility aircrafts. Some of that work is already taking place at the airport.
The type of air mobility technology researched and tested at the airport has been described as envisioning a safe and efficient aviation transportation system that uses highly automated aircraft that will operate and transport passengers or cargo at lower altitudes to urban and suburban areas.
Springfield is not far from Dayton, Ohio, putting it near Wright Patterson Air Force Base and the home of the Wright Brothers. Some of the money is coming from the DOD and the airport was already home to the Ohio Advanced Air Mobility Showcase. The state’s flagship university, Ohio State, is also just up the road.
The facility is being upgraded to support eVTOL (electric vertical take-off and landing) aircraft. While these aircraft are mostly intended for large cities, companies like Supernal will require a place to test and where better than Southwest Ohio?
While Springfield seems like a lovely town, there are a lot fewer tall buildings.