Thursday, May 13, 2021

NASA – Sustainable Aerospace Supply Chain & Manufacturing Workshop

More disappointment befell your humble author as he listened to the panellists talk about their supply chain woes. I always wear black shoes because increasingly over the last few years, these meetings have become more like funerals for the hobbyist and small business end-user, and this meeting was no exception. The tagline was:

“This will be an interactive workshop, working to support a strategy to enable a sustainable aerospace supply chain and related manufacturing within the entire ecosystem.”

It is becoming more challenging to get around the regulatory setups. The drone of the panellists’’ advice for smoothing the bumps out of the road would hardly encourage investment into setting up a factory for manufacturing widgets for drones. The promise of RID still permeates the halls, even though this notion is false; and participants exude enthusiasm even though they still have not recovered from the latest NPRM duping.

None of what is transpiring today in the NAS is scalable, nor has it been scientifically proven to be either safe or unsafe. The new timeline for the mega-billions in funding is only 18 to 24-months away. That is woefully optimistic for flying over people and

BVLOS, unless of course you are PrecisionHawk and then you can apparently do whatever you like, even if it is above the law. Disclaimer: this unfettered access to the NAS does not constitute guaranteed financial success.

My question to the panel was what effect the repeal of Sec. 336 would have on the domestic manufacturing supply chain. Because aircraft like the Aerosonde, the Puma, the Raven, and others came directly out of the RC hobby world and were capable of feats as substantial as transatlantic crossings 22-years ago.

For example, a company that made high-end RC gliders glassed the Aerosonde fuselage. How many five- to ten-thousand-dollar gliders should we assume will be ordered with the new proposed regulation going forward? Most of the components in aircraft such as the Aerosonde were sourced from the USA.

The FAA’s 2007 policy imposed an almost 10-year prohibition on commercial drones and thus helped the Chinese to become the World leader in sUAS.

If you want to see what a thriving unmanned Aerospace ecosystem looks like, go to Shenzhen, China. I suggested that maybe they should consider learning or hiring people who speak Mandarin.

It seems to be part of FLIR’s winning business plan, get with the winning team, and come in for the big score!

On the Twitter follow the @dronedealer and hear it all as it goes down

Hey NASA, why don’t you buy American shot glasses and help keep the domestic supply chain sustainable?

Patrick Egan
Patrick Egan
Editor in Field, sUAS News Americas Desk | Patrick Egan is the editor of the Americas Desk at sUAS News and host and Executive Producer of the sUAS News Podcast Series, Drone TV and the Small Unmanned Systems Business Exposition. Experience in the field includes assignments with the U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command Battle Lab investigating solutions on future warfare research projects. Instructor for LTA (Lighter Than Air) ISR systems deployment teams for an OSD, U.S. Special Operations Command, Special Surveillance Project. Built and operated commercial RPA prior to 2007 FAA policy clarification. On the airspace integration side, he serves as director of special programs for the RCAPA (Remote Control Aerial Photography Association).