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  • 4 weeks later...

At UND, unmanned aircraft program takes off

Unmanned aircraft fly missions every day in Iraq and Afghanistan, but experts say someday those remotely piloted planes could play a big role in commercial aviation right here at home.

The University of North Dakota in Grand Forks has a new unmanned aircraft research center and this fall the school accepted students into the first unmanned aircraft systems degree program in the world. The university has taught students how to fly for 40 years, but students in the new program may never leave the ground.

Mike Nelson is a former fighter pilot who now teaches people how to fly an unmanned aircraft system. He said unmanned flight represents a revolutionary change.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Flight School Trains Pilots Who'll Never Fly

The University of North Dakota is offering the world's first bachelor's degree for pilots who will never leave the ground.

These pilots are not afraid of flying. There is just less of a need to be airborne with the rapid growth of so-called unmanned aerial vehicles, or UAVs.

"College students like to be employable when they graduate," said Jeffrey Kappenman, director of the school's Unmanned Aircraft Center. "This market is a growing market."

To help meet the demand for UAV operators and pilots, the University of North Dakota has set up a four-year undergraduate major and enrolled its first 12 students. There already is talk of a graduate program as well.

Nice job by the folks at Aerospace to recognize this trend and act upon it.

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  • 3 months later...
UND's UAS Center director resigns

Godspeed in finding a quality replacement.

Children must not have been in the air program. I don't know any other school outside of maybe Embroy Riddle that is better then we are. So they would have been foolish not to come here for that. Outside of that if you aren't from around the region and you don't like Hockey and you would prefer to go to a southern school I can totally understand.

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  • 1 year later...


Siouxlanders may be able to take flight training at Sioux Gateway Airport while getting started on a degree in aviation under a plan in the works between the airport board of trustees, Western Iowa Tech Community College and the University of North Dakota.

Airport board president Daniel Kaplan said the board is excited at the prospect but doesn't know whether it will happen next year.

He said students could get flight training and ground school at the airport. Those who wanted to pursue a four-year degree in aviation would be able to start the UND curriculum at WITCC and finish up in North Dakota.

UND offers an array of undergraduate and graduate programs and has a fleet of more than 120 aircraft, according to the school's website.

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