International conference on unmanned cargo planes held at GTP

Published: Mar. 20, 2018 at 8:08 PM EDT
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Unmanned cargo planes are the newest marvel in aviation and Tuesday leaders from around the world met at the Global Transpark in Kinston talking about how soon we could put them to use.

Pieter Hermans from the Netherlands is an innovator of large unmanned cargo planes and says, "It's really taking off. Three years ago it was an academic thing and now it's becoming realistic."

Hermans says they decided to hold their annual conference for the first time in the U.S., more importantly at the GTP.

GTP Executive Director Allen Thomas says, "This is what people have always envisioned about the Global Transpark here in eastern NC, where we would connect to the global economy related to aerospace."

Those attending the conference saw animation of what is considered the hydrogen powered unmanned ultra large cargo aircraft call the HUULC.

Mark Patrick Collins with LUCA Air says planes like these could soon move 100 shipping containers or 20 tons of goods, which is 30 times faster than maritime shipping.

Patrick Collins says, "Unmanned aircrafts are going to be flying long distances, to thousands of miles to 10,000 miles picking up and dropping off where there is little infrastructure."

The planes could also aid in natural disasters where runways are damaged by hurricanes, earthquakes or floods.

And they hope in the next five years this type of transportation will change the way we receive goods.

While there are no studies on safety regarding these aircrafts, with more test flights in remote areas of the world, they hope to have those results to get this program off the ground.