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Skydweller opens flight test facility...

Skydweller opens flight test facility at Stennis

By: Frank Corder - March 26, 2024

(Photo from Skydweller Aero)

  • Skydweller is the nation’s only large unmanned solar-powered aircraft capable of perpetual flight that can stay aloft for months at time.

On Monday, state and federal officials joined together at Stennis International Airport in Hancock County for the opening of Skydweller Aero’s flight test and aircraft modification facility.

Skydweller is the nation’s only large unmanned solar-powered aircraft capable of perpetual flight. The aircrafts have a wingspan greater than a 747 and can stay aloft for months at time with zero carbon footprint.

Robert Miller, Skydweller’s CEO, said the company came to the Mississippi Coast because of the business-friendly environment and the opportunities the location provides. Being on the Coast allows them to support their customer at U.S. Southern Command and flying over the Gulf of Mexico and down to the Caribbean.

“We also appreciate the business-friendly environment here,” Miller said. “The local leadership, state leadership, federal leadership here in Mississippi are really supportive. They make it a great place to be.” 

U.S. Senator Roger Wicker and Cindy Hyde-Smith, along with 4th District Congressman Mike Ezell and Governor Tate Reeves all spoke highly of the company’s investment in the state while highlighting the technology developed by Skydweller that is the only one of its kind in the country.

Governor Reeves said Skydweller is the kind of technology-based company that Mississippi is working hard to attract.

“Today’s announcement is a culmination of a lot of hard work from a lot of different people we’ve known for a long time. There are a lot of special people who work at Stennis,” said Governor Reeves. “And today, Skydweller is just another example of a lot of important things happening not only for Hancock County, not only for the state of Mississippi, but for our country.”

Skydweller is currently immersed in various capability and testing missions with the goal of an unmanned, uncrewed flight in the near future. The technology will be used for long duration missions such as providing continuous coverage above war zones, surveilling naval activity in contested waters, and detecting drug smugglers and pirates at sea.

The company says with a flexible payload system, including communications relay, 4G/5G cellular, day/night full motion video, satellite communication, imaging radar, and more, Skydwellers will enhance commercial and government telecommunication, geospatial, meteorological and emergency operation efforts around the world, allowing customers to operate persistently in more challenging areas for longer durations, while reducing environmental impact.

About the Author(s)
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Frank Corder

Frank Corder is a native of Pascagoula. For nearly two decades, he has reported and offered analysis on government, public policy, business and matters of faith. Frank’s interviews, articles, and columns have been shared throughout Mississippi as well as in national publications. He is a frequent guest on radio and television, providing insight and commentary on the inner workings of the Magnolia State. Frank has served his community in both elected and appointed public office, hosted his own local radio and television programs, and managed private businesses all while being an engaged husband and father. Email Frank: