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Unmanned Cargo Update #3

Issue #: 3 (202303)


TECHNOLOGY:

Mighty Fly - Cento Autonomous eVTOL Freighter Aircraft

  • ANOTHER American made hybrid middle-mile platform in development! This is a good thing…

  • If it seems this space is already crowded, that's ok, over the next few years many of these companies will consolidate, fold, or license their technology to each other.

  • Of the platforms we have reviewed in this distribution, the MightyFly Cento is on the lighter side of capabilities at: 100 lbs / 600 miles of range

AeroX Begins AAM Weather Study In North Carolina

  • Aircraft and control stations are not the only technology that is developing in innovative ways to enable unmanned air cargo to become a reality. Weather sensing technology will be an integral part of the data ecosystem required by operators, the FAA, and customers.

  • TruWeather Solutions are low altitude weather specialists, and AeroX is creating a digitally enabled advanced air mobility eco system.

  • Interesting that the progression of operations is described as "cargo and, ultimately, people". In my opinion eVTOL passenger transportation is a closer reality than middle-mile autonomous cargo delivery; as middle-mile cargo operations will remove the pilot from the onboard flight deck and the first evolution of eVTOL passenger transport will not seek to do so.

POLICY:

Advanced Mobility | Air Taxis

  • If you're not up to date with all the latest UAS / aviation acronyms, the FAA does a good job here providing descriptions and definitions of the most important ones.

  • For expanded discussions don't miss the Resources section at the bottom or this article.

  • This article highlights that under the current industry structure many companies are the "designer, manufacturer, and operator". This trend is unlikely to continue into the future as we contrast how aerospace businesses are set up today. For perspective; Boeing does not fly passenger routes with the 777 and Lockheed Martin doesn't fly bombing missions with the F-35.

FAA Accepts Reliable Robotics Certification Basis Pilotless Technology

  • Reliable Robotics (one of the coolest websites I have seen) expects to receive Supplemental Type Certification (STC) for its Cessna Grand Caravan autopilot system by mid 2023.

  • I have been following Xwing for a while. It seems both of these companies are on the same trajectory, Xwing partnering with Honewell for development and Reliable Robotics working with Textron.

  • STC modified aircraft such as the Cessna Grand Caravan are already conducting Part 135 operations with a pilot on board responding to "abnormal occurrences'. In my opinion conventionally powered aircraft (liquid aviation fuel) modified and certified for pilotless operations will be the first platforms widely available to be employed for full scale Part 135 unmanned cargo operations.

INFRASTRUCTURE:

ResilienX - Complete Software Monitoring System For The Future of Autonomous Ecosystems

  • ResilienX is a monitoring system that will be embedded between unmanned operator's onboard UAS/UTM software and the FAA's UTM infrastructure.

  • If you have the time please watch the Youtube video posted in the FRAIHMWORK section of this site. I learned A LOT about how NASA's research is shaping the structure, policy, and development of hardware & software systems.

  • The reason this industry is seemingly taking so long? It's extremely complicated, watch the video. I was very impressed by these two gentlemen's explanations and presentations on the subject of autonomous ecosystems.

BUSINESS:

Not Enough Aviation Mechanics

  • In my opinion almost all >55bl UAS manufactures seeking type certification are overlooking the requirement for certified aviation mechanics to maintain and signoff those aircraft in an airworthy condition.

  • Not having a developed pipeline for small/medium UAS technicians, this need will in the short term further dilute the pool of technicians currently certified as Airframe & Powerplant technicians for conventional manned operations.

  • From our position in the aviation industry Time On Target Solutions is NOT overlooking this skill gap and is retaining the skill sets to develop internal training programs, as well as establishing a network of qualified technicians for potential recruitment.

READER SUBMISSIONS:

  • Ron shared this article with us after a discussion about how I ignorantly self-reported sleep apnea on my FAA flight medical application without talking to a DME first.

  • Readers applying for FAA medical certificates should know how important it is to fill the form accurately and or seek advice in the process.

  • Ron bestowed a bit of wisdom in sharing that he developed a good relationship with his DME where they discussed how to navigate issues within boundaries before they became problems on the annual medical exam.

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