Locals win drone challenge

Finally! A really useful drone.

The National Institute of Standards and Technology in America is sponsoring a challenge for a more useful drone, with a focus on bigger payloads and longer flight durations.

The first stage of this threestage nationwide competition is completed, with 10 contestants selected, each awarded $20,000. In the final stage one team will win a further $50,000.

One of those first-stage winners is Aerial Robotic Systems in Lewistown, headed by an 81-year-old businessman and a self-taught engineer and experimental airplane builder.

Pork Lewis and Noel Simmons have spent over two years developing a really useful unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV). The ARS LT is capable of four-hour uninterrupted flights. It can lift up to 80 pounds.

What’s more, the pair say their design can be scaled to a 500-pound payload, which puts them in competition with Boeing.

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