By Shumuriel Ratlif
(WNCN) The first commercial drone approved by the Federal Aviation Administration for testing in North Carolina took to the skies near Raleigh on Thursday.
The Trimble UX5 weighs a little more than five pounds, but don’t let it’s size fool you. It can do a lot of work once it’s in flight.
“The aircraft itself is electric. It’s battery powered and it can fly for up to 50 minutes, and in that time you can get approximately one thousand depending on how high you fly and what the conditions are,” explains Trimble engineer Chip Berniard.
Thursday’s research flight showed the $50,000 dollar drone in action. Click here for video
It will be use for agricultural research at North Carolina State University, and will be used by the North Carolina Department of Transportation as well.
“Some of the research we are going to start doing this summer is looking at infrastructure and landslides investigations that a DOT field agent would do,” says NC State’s Kyle Snyder.
Officials say there’s no cause for concern when you see this drone flying in the fields.
“We’re not a hobbyist we are doing research operations for the good of the state. That’s why we’re working with these different agencies, working with these industry partners that want to grow,” Snyder explains.