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New name, same mission for Skyborne

Tim Croft
tcroft@starfl.com
The Star

The name of the parent company will be changing, but Wewahitchka-based Skyborne Technology, Inc. remains on track to take off this fall.

Skyborne Technology Investment Properties, which owns Costin Airport in Port St. Joe, recently passed its annual inspection for manned and unmanned operations at the airport, according to a company press release.

That frees the company to begin testing its newest aircraft.

Skyborne’s SA70-12 detachable tether-airship (DATT) should have its initial flight testing this fall, according to the release.

The SA70-12 is a seven-story aircraft that acts as an airborne carrier of drones.

In effect, think of the DATT has the “mothership” from which drones can be deployed for a variety of uses, from communications to agricultural.

The DATT and Skyborne partnership are central to a Gulf Coast State College project up for final approval by the board of Triumph Gulf Coast, Inc. next week that would establish a disaster technology center at the Gulf/Franklin campus.

The overall cost of that project is over $9 million; the college, Skyborne and UAV are providing matching funds

After disasters, the airship and drones could be deployed to enhance communications and search and rescue operations, among other disaster-recovery related tasks.

“We are excited to be edging up on the completion of this innovative airship,” said Mike Lawson, CEO of Skyborne parent company UAV Corp.

“This will be the first of its kind currently under construction at our facility. The first mission(s) for this innovative new airship is a disaster relief aerial platform.”

Lawson said the DATT components are roughly 75 percent complete at the Wewahitchka facility, the first facility in the U.S. for Skyborne.

In addition, the plans for a new hangar to house the airship were recently approved by the county Planning and Development Review Board and Board of County Commissioners.

The hangar will be 300-feet long and 96-feet high and serve as both hangar and office space.

When completed it will be the tallest building in the county, Lawson said.

Construction will begin on the hangar project, which will be funded in part with over $1 million in grant dollars, once final plans are filed and approved by the county.

“This has been a unique partnership with the Gulf County government to win approval on two matching grants totaling $1.032 million,” said Walter Robinson, Chairman of UAV Corp.

“These funds will be utilized for new infrastructure at Costin Airport which will include utilities, roads and site improvements. This will positively affect property tax improvements, employment and future complimentary business opportunities for the Gulf region.”

Overall, improvements at Costin Airport carry a price tag of over $5 million, according to the release.

This week’s press release was primarily focused on announcing a name change for Skyborne’s parent company.

Han Tang Technology, Inc, has applied to changes its name to UAV Corp. to “better reflect the direction of the company.”

The new name, UAV Corp. Inc., according to the press release, will be a strategic fit as it “defines the corporate business model and focuses on the technology for manned and unmanned tether-airship and communication packages.”

Once approved, the public company will trade under UAVC: Skyborne is a fully-owned subsidiary.

If interested in following the progress of the first “mothership” visit www.uavcorp.net.