Revolution’s R44 with the Hummingbird UAV.
Photo courtesy Revolution Aviation
Revolution Aviation, a flight training school based at John Wayne Airport (SNA) in Santa Ana, Calif., claims to be the first flight school in the United States to offer instruction on helicopters, fixed-wing platforms, and remotely piloted vehicles (RPVs), more commonly known as unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) or drones. Mark Robinson, founder of Revolution Aviation, wanted to open a school where anyone could “pursue their passion for aviation.” The company has a motto of “eat, sleep, fly.”
The school, which opened in fall 2013, has a total of six aircraft: three Robinson R22s, one R44, a fixed-wing Liberty XL2 and one Hummingbird UAV, a quadcopter from Ascending Technologies.
Although Revolution Aviation specializes in helicopters and helicopter training, “when we started, we were the second flight school at John Wayne Airport providing helicopter training in 34 years,” said Robinson. “So we knew we’d get the overflow from that school, but we also wanted to do things a little differently, which is why we also wanted to offer drone and fixed-wing training.”
|Robinson gives advice during a training lesson. Photo courtesy Revolution Aviation|
The drone, built by Ascending Technologies, is a quadcopter called the Hummingbird. UAV training allows students to practice an interest in aviation without actually piloting a large aircraft.
“The drone makes us a little different, unusual, since it’s an up and coming business,” he explained. The reason the company took on UAV training is because Robinson “wanted people to have the opportunity to learn something that doesn’t currently require medical, and that’s something that allows people to enjoy aviation but not have to fly if they’re scared of flying.”
Read the rest of the story and watch a video of the training here.
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