Arguing as I do on LinkedIn, I realised (put tin foil hats on) that it’s obvious that model aircraft flying by youngsters must be banned, because how else are major defence contractors going to add value to sUAS greater than that a teenage air cadet could manage?
I would bet our house that every RAF station has one if not fifty experienced model aircraft fliers on it.
Pull up a sandbag, when I was in at RAF Chivenor there was an old bloke that ran the sim, Chris Golds. He was probably the same age as I am now, but I was 18 so he was an old bloke then to me.
I had no idea what a legendary hunter-driver, and aviation artist he was (many of the plastic Frog kit boxes displayed his work) and what a prolific model designer and maker. I learnt slowly of these things. What I knew was he was the very kind chap that used to let 18-year-old me drive the Hawk sim.
If a unit was stood up by Chris Golds to design military sUAS it would be second to none, just drop his name into Google and add RC plans, and keep scrolling.
This got me started thinking about the RAF Model Aircraft Association (RAFMAA) founded in 1949 and the skills they would bring to the table and I remembered that the Australian Air Force Cadets already have a fantastic STEM-based system in place. They use Cube-based quadcopters to train all the skills needed in modern theatres of war.
This is their pitch
Aerospace Training is offered as a part of the curriculum delivered through assistance from small microdrones to medium size drones. It also involves looking into meteorology, the theory of flight, and practising flight in a range of instances including flying drones, flying in gliders, and flying in powered aircraft. The Aerospace domain is broad encompassing Cyber, aeronautical engineering and a range of other functions.
The only advantage military contractors had twenty years ago was their access to smaller autopilots and GPS, they were expensive, especially after the markup.
If you buy from China, you can get a dirt cheap autopilot and GPS, less than £100 quid, but you might not want to or be able to buy from China.
The Here 4 is made outside of China and will do everything you need, all for £250 which is much less than what I paid for my first GPS autopilot in 2009. It’s an RTK GPS and autopilot all in one, just let the precision sink in.
More funding for the RAFMAA, please!