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A mild blue yonder favors Cleveland National Air Show

The United States Air Force Thunderbirds perform at the Cleveland Air Show held at Burke Lakefront Airport on Saturday, Sept. 5, 2015.

CLEVELAND, Ohio – This isn’t the first Cleveland National Air Show with drones but the 2015 edition offers a tantalizing clue that there may be more in the future.
The Federal Aviation Administration has designated the show a beta test site for drone use at air shows.
That means the federal agency is trying to gauge the public reaction, safety issues and the compatibility of existing technology with the shows.
Dronewerx, an Elyria based company that designs, builds and sells drones, attended the 2014 show and Saturday put on a flying demonstration.
The company’s Matt Mishak said drones are “the fastest growing sector in aviation” and the technology could become a significant job generator in the region.
He said some people don’t like them because they associate the unmanned flying machines with spying and the carnage of war.
But in civilian hands, Mishak said, they are ideal for many tasks that are “dirty, dull or dangerous.”
Infrastructure is one area, and any work that needs to be done far off the ground is another.
Kim Dell, executive director of the air show, said that currently military drones are not available for shows like the one here.
William McDonough of Medina, an attorney with a practice that focuses on drone-related legal issues, said that currently the military “wants to hold that technology close to the vest.”
But clearly, the FAA is looking ahead. Not only is the agency looking at their role at the show here. It reportedly is testing an app that would benefit drone operators by telling whether they are flying in a restricted area.
The show had a larger military presence than last year, including static displays of a C-17 and C-130, both Air Force cargo planes.
A Navy F/A-18 Hornet and Marine Harrier made demonstration flights, and the Air Force Thunderbirds also performed their precision maneuvers under sunny skies.
Dell said the show has already processed the paper work to have the Blue Angels next year, but other acts will not be known until December or January, following the annual International Council of Air shows convention at the end of the year.
This marks the first time since 1975 that Chuck Newcomb is not at the helm of show. He passed the reins to Dell, who has been with the show for years, but he remains as a consultant.

The US Navy F/A F-18 Super Hornet creates its own vapor cloud at high speed performing at the Cleveland Air Show held at Burke Lakefront Airport on Saturday, Sept. 5, 2015.
The US Air Force Thunderbirds perform at the Cleveland Air Show held at Burke Lakefront Airport on Saturday, Sept. 5, 2015.
The Shockwave Jet Truck races through clouds of its own creation on the runway at the Cleveland Air Show held at Burke Lakefront Airport on Saturday, Sept. 5, 2015.
Visitors walk up the rear cargo ramp of the enormous C-17 on display at the Cleveland Air Show held at Burke Lakefront Airport on Saturday, Sept. 5, 2015.
The Oracle Challenger III piloted by Sean Tucker performs at the Cleveland Air Show held at Burke Lakefront Airport on Saturday, Sept. 5, 2015.
Visitors watch a U.S. Marine Corps AV8B Harrier hover above the runway at the Cleveland Air Show held at Burke Lakefront Airport on Saturday, Sept. 5, 2015.
Visitors watch the aerobatics at the Cleveland Air Show held at Burke Lakefront Airport on Saturday, Sept. 5, 2015.
A US Navy Super Hornet performs at the Cleveland Air Show held at Burke Lakefront Airport on Saturday, Sept. 5, 2015.
US Air Froce Thunderbirds perform at the Cleveland Air Show held at Burke Lakefront Airport on Saturday, Sept. 5, 2015
Former Navy jet mechanic John Berg of Fairview Park measures the cowling on a F-18 Super Hornet at the Cleveland Air Show held at Burke Lakefront Airport on Saturday, Sept. 5, 2015.
The US Air Force Thunderbirds perform at the Cleveland Air Show held at Burke Lakefront Airport on Saturday, Sept. 5, 2015.
Visitors tour a cargo aircraft parked at the Cleveland Air Show held at Burke Lakefront Airport on Saturday, Sept. 5, 2015.
An Air Force Thunderbird flies past the crowd at the Cleveland Air Show held at Burke Lakefront Airport on Saturday, Sept. 5, 2015.
A U.S. Marine Corps AV-8B Harrier at the Cleveland Air Show held at Burke Lakefront Airport on Saturday, Sept. 5, 2015.
The Oracle Challenger III flown by Sean tucker performs at the Cleveland Air Show held at Burke Lakefront Airport on Saturday, Sept. 5, 2015.
A US Air Force Thunderbird is viewed by visitors tot the Cleveland Air Show held at Burke Lakefront Airport on Saturday, Sept. 5, 2015.
at the Cleveland Air Show held at Burke Lakefront Airport on Saturday, Sept. 5, 2015.
The Shockwave Jet Truck and an aircraft piloted by Rob Holland race each other along the runway at the Cleveland Air Show held at Burke Lakefront Airport on Saturday, Sept. 5, 2015.
Paul Hammond of Cleveland takes advantage of some cooler shade at the Cleveland Air Show held at Burke Lakefront Airport on Saturday, Sept. 5, 2015.

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