The GrowDetroit team went inside Detroit’s City Airport, where Detroit Aircraft Corporation has transformed the executive terminal and hangers into a testing ground for the next-generation of aircraft technology. As in our usual fashion, we hosted a fireside chat (over drinks) with the founder of Detroit Aircraft, Jon Rimanelli.
About Detroit Aircraft
Excerpt From dbusiness:
“On the second floor of the passenger terminal, surveillance drones are being designed and built. Other customers include movie producers, real estate agencies, utilities, and farmers who can put a drone equipped with a high-definition camera, communications equipment, and other gadgets to good use.
“The FAA has mandated an all-new highway in the sky,” says Rimanelli, chairman and CEO of Detroit Aircraft. “It’s the next generation of air travel where you have smaller drones flying first, followed by cargo drones. And one day — 10 years from now — people will order seats on an air taxi at the airport closest to them. The pilot will be flying the air taxi from the ground.”
Flying without a pilot onboard may be difficult for some people to accept, but it will happen; when elevators were first installed in buildings, some passengers were reluctant to ride up or down without an operator.
To take advantage of the legislation, Watt and Rimanelli have established an industrial cluster called Aero Tech Town at Detroit City Airport. Located in the former passenger terminal and utilizing available space inside the neighboring Executive Terminal, the cluster includes R&D space for the military, private industry, and universities. The idea is for them to share resources and innovative ideas.”