Virginia governor flies in autonomous aircraft

Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe has become the first sitting governor to fly in a fully automated aircraft, Aurora Flight Sciences said.

The 8-minute flight took place following the opening of NASA´s Wallops Island Flight Research Center unmanned aerial systems (UAS) runway on Virginia´s eastern shore.

The Governor solidified his commitment to supporting emerging UAS technology by flying in Aurora´s Centaur optionally-piloted aircraft (OPA).

As part of the unmanned mode demonstration, the Governor controlled the Centaur from a laptop computer onboard the aircraft.

Aurora Flight Sciences develops autonomous systems for aircraft. Headquartered in Manassas, Virginia, it operates production plants in Bridgeport, West Virginia and Columbus, Mississippi, has Research and Development Centers in Cambridge, Massachusetts, Dayton, Ohio and Mountain View, California, and a European office, Aurora Swiss Aerospace, located in Luzern, Switzerland.