Australian Drone Engine Maker To Open Factory In Hood River
The unmanned aircraft industry cluster in the Columbia River Gorge is growing yet again. An Australian company that specializes in drone engines plans to open a factory in Hood River, Oregon, early next year.
Orbital Corporation announced it has leased a newly built industrial and office building in Hood River where it will assemble and test small aircraft engines. The number of new jobs created appears modest at first.
“Generally we would be employing somewhere in the range of 12 to 15 staff, expanding to up to 30 within a 12 to 18 month time frame based on our expansion plans,” an Orbital executive emailed.
Conveniently, and not coincidentally, Orbital’s space is practically next door to its biggest U.S. customer, a Boeing subsidiary named Insitu. Insitu uses Orbital’s engine to power its fixed-wing military and commercial reconnaissance drone, the ScanEagle.
Insitu is now the largest private company in the Gorge. Since it started there, other companies in the sector have set up shop leading to area getting the occasional nickname Dronetown USA.
The industry cluster also includes drone maker Aerovel, transponder maker Sagetech, Hood Technology and Overwatch Imaging, among others.
“We have been looking for the right property for Orbital’s needs for some time,” Orbital CEO Todd Alder said in a statement. “Securing an exclusive long term lease over a new purpose built facility in such a highly sought after location in Hood River is a fabulous outcome.”
Pacific Northwesterners are undeniably fond of their endangered resident killer whales. Many locals are also fans of salmon fishing, a hobby that sustains charter fishing fleets in coastal harbors from Neah Bay, Washington, to Brookings, Oregon.
But now there is a chance future fishing trips on the ocean could be curtailed to leave more food for the killer whales. Regulators are preparing to reassess the Pacific salmon harvest and an environmental lawsuit seeks more action to save orcas. Continue Reading Charter Fishing Fleet Casts Wary Eye Toward Possible Fishing Cutbacks To Save Orcas
Faced with a flood of addicted inmates and challenged by lawsuits, America’s county jails are struggling to adjust to an opioid health crisis that has turned many of the jails into their area’s largest drug treatment centers. Continue Reading County Jails Struggle With A New Role As America’s Prime Centers For Opioid Detox
What to do with the four Lower Snake River dams and how to best protect imperiled salmon have been a tough questions for decades. They were the focus at a conference on salmon Tuesday at Boise State University’s Andrus Center for Public Policy. Continue Reading Salmon Conference Calls For Innovative Solutions To Protect Fish