Aerospace component coatings, rocket and engine testing, unmanned aircraft central themes in Mississippi and larger global industry

Intelligent Aerospace Chief Editor Courtney E. Howard sat down with Glenn McCullough, executive director of Mississippi Development Authority to discuss themes central to Mississippi and the global aerospace industry. These same themes, at the heart of which is aerospace electronics hardware and software technologies, were prominent at Paris Air Show 2017 in Le Bourget, France.

Jun 22nd, 2017
Aerospace component coatings, rocket and engine testing, unmanned aircraft central themes in Mississippi and larger global industry
Aerospace component coatings, rocket and engine testing, unmanned aircraft central themes in Mississippi and larger global industry

Intelligent Aerospace Chief Editor Courtney E. Howard sat down with Glenn McCullough, executive director of Mississippi Development Authority to discuss themes central to Mississippi and the global aerospace industry. These same themes, at the heart of which is aerospace electronics hardware and software technologies, were prominent at Paris Air Show 2017 in Le Bourget, France.

Glenn McCullough
Executive Director
Mississippi Development Authority
Jackson, Mississippi

What are you excited to see at Paris Air Show?
We are excited to see aerospace manufacturers and the latest technology in the aerospace sector. This provides us with much needed intel on emerging trends within this strong sector to ensure we are meeting the needs of aerospace companies in Mississippi and those who are looking for the next location to manufacture or test their products.

What are you excited to bring to/share at the show?
We are excited to showcase the state as a top destination for aerospace research and development, manufacturing, and testing. It is no surprise that aerospace giants like Rolls-Royce, GE Aviation, SpaceX, Eaton Aerospace, Praxair, Northrop Grumman, and many more leaders all have a significant presence in Mississippi, home to the nation’s largest outdoor rocket and jet engine test complex at Stennis Space Center to the FAA’s Center of Excellence in Unmanned Aircraft Systems at Mississippi State University.

What will your technology focus be at the show and immediately following it?
We will focus heavily on unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) and the state’s assets in this sector. Recently Mississippi was awarded by Department of Homeland Security for Mississippi State University to lead R&D.

Aerospace component coatings, rocket and engine testing, unmanned aircraft central themes in Mississippi and larger global industry

How would you sum up the current state of the aerospace industry?
The aerospace sector is thriving in Mississippi. In October 2016, Praxair Surface Technologies and GE Aviation announced a joint venture in Ellisville, Mississippi. Called PG Technologies, the company will provide the development, support, and application of specialized coatings for GE components for nearly all of GE’s aircraft engines. Mississippi also is home to the nation’s largest rocket and jet engine testing complex at Stennis Space Center in Hancock County. Combined with the state’s thriving unmanned aerial systems sector, and Mississippi is the complete package. With a focus on training a next-generation workforce for the aerospace and advanced manufacturing sectors, the state’s future in the aerospace industry is bright and will only climb higher.


GE Aviation, a global leader in jet engine and aircraft systems, manufactures composite parts for jet engines in Batesville, Miss.

What’s the hottest trend you’re seeing?Any bleeding-edge technology or segment to watch?
The unmanned systems sector is growing rapidly across the globe and Mississippi is at the forefront of this emerging technology. Mississippi State University is the FAA’s Center of Excellence for Unmanned Aircraft Systems as well as the Department of Homeland Security’s lead institution for research and development. A member of the Alliance for System Safety of UAS through Research Excellence, Mississippi State is leading the way for the integration of unmanned systems into our national air space.


Located at NASA’s Stennis Space Center in Hancock County, Aerojet Rocketdyne assembles and tests rocket engines.

What are the biggest challenges facing the aerospace community today? How do you see them being addressed?
Workforce. This is an issue everywhere and not isolated to our state. The state recently committed $50M for workforce training through the Mississippi Works Fund. The state is working with our existing industries and new industries to meet immediate and future training needs.


Global aerospace defense contractor Stark Aerospace produces the ArrowLite™ small UAS system at the company’s headquarters in Columbus, Miss.

Search the Aerospace & Defense Buyer's Guide


The go-to resource for Intelligent Aerospace technology news & information:

Covering key topics
  • Avionics & Electronics in the Cockpit
  • Inflight Entertainment & Connectivity (IFEC) & Other Electronics in the Cabin
  • Satellite and Space, including satellite communications
  • Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS)
  • Air Traffic Control (ATC) & Airport Infrastructure
  • Engineering Design, Development, and Test
  • Maintenance, repair, and overhaul
  • Rotorcraft, including Helicopters, Tiltrotors & Innovative Vertical Lift Aircraft
  • Software, including Coding, Test, Verification, and More
  • Training & Simulation

  • Across all market segments
  • Commercial aviation
  • Military aviation
  • General aviation
  • Space

  • Subscribe to the free Intelligent Inbox e-newsletter

    Subscribe to receive all the latest aerospace technology news & information, delivered directly to your e-mail inbox twice a week (Tuesdays and Thursdays). Sign upfor your free subscription to the Intelligent Inbox e-newsletter at http://www.intelligent-aerospace.com/subscribe.html.

    Connect on social media

    Keep pace with aerospace innovation and opportunities via your favorite social media channels. Connect with Intelligent Aerospace on Twitter (@IntelligentAero), LinkedIn,Google+, and Instagram.

    Intelligent Aerospace, the global aerospace technology network, reports on the latest tools, technologies, and trends of vital importance to aerospace professionals throughout the industry and around the globe, including engineers, engineering managers, and other key decision-makers involved in the research & development, design, test, manufacture, maintenance, upgrade and retrofit, management, and acquisition of electronics hardware and software components, tools, and systems for commercial and military fixed-wing, rotor-wing, and unmanned aircraft, air traffic control, airport operations, satellites, and space.

    More in Commercial