The GUSC has landed

The HoverFly LiveSky tethered drone airborne. Photo available for purchase

The HoverFly LiveSky tethered drone airborne.

Lois Swoboda
Published: Wednesday, August 13, 2014 at 10:30 AM.

More than 100 people got a peek at the future on Thursday when the Gulf Unmanned System Center (GUSC) held an open house.

The new Carrabelle-based firm welcomed visitors in grand style. The activities centered on three drone-manufacturing firms who came to demonstrate their products.

An unmanned system, or drone, is an air, water or land craft that operates remotely without a pilot.

The term drone was coined by the US military. In 1935, the British had developed an early airborne unmanned system, the de Havilland Queen Bee, for use in target practice. American engineers copied the machine and dubbed it the drone, male equivalent of a queen bee.

The day began at the corporate headquarters at 206 St. James Avenue NW where CEO Bruce McCormack greeted his guests and gave an overview of his plans and progress. The facility in downtown Carrabelle, the former Gulf State Community Bank, was purchased in June.

GUSC will provide a venue for commercial manufacturers to test small robot drones, weighing less than 55 pounds, on land, water and air. McCormack said, eventually, the firm would also provide support for manufacture and marketing of unmanned systems.

“Unmanned drones have developed further and faster and will become a major economic influence over the next decade,” he said.

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