First North Dakota-manufactured drone unveiled in Wahpeton

Farm Forum

WAHPETON, N.D. (AP) – State and industry officials have unveiled the first unmanned aircraft manufactured in North Dakota in Wahpeton.

ComDel Innovation signed an agreement in February with Florida-based Altavian Inc. to manufacture drones and components at ComDel’s plant in Wahpeton, where the companies showcased their first model.

The Altavian Nova F6500 is the first plane to roll off the assembly line in Wahpeton, and while many unmanned aircrafts are used in overseas combat, these will be used to monitor agriculture and livestock, KFGO-AM reported ( ).

“It’s hard to get the kind of repetition that farmers need over the fields to get the real answers that they’re trying to get,” said Damon Wolfe of Altavian.

The industry is expected to create 10 to 20 jobs in the southeastern North Dakota town.

U.S. Sen. John Hoeven hailed the state’s first drone as a success for North Dakota. Hoeven has long been a proponent of unmanned aerial systems, having helped establish and secure tenants for Grand Sky, the UAS technology and business park next to the Grand Forks Air Force Base.

“Today marks an important step forward for the UAS industry in North Dakota,” Hoeven said. “We have worked to bring together many partners to help establish our leadership in UAS research, development and manufacturing.

The first North Dakota-made drone will be donated to the Fargo Air Museum.