DEFENSE AND SPACE
Global Aerospace | June 06, 2022
As we ring in the New Year, many of us like to think big. How can we have the most impact in the new year? How can we recruit and provide the best people with the best tools, training and motivation to excel? How can we find the resources to accomplish all of our grand ideas floating like sugarplums though our holiday-spirited minds?
Here is one of mine. I think it is long overdue, and I’d like to invite you to join in with me.
Pretty much everyone in our industry knows that aviation mechanics are the unsung heroes of aviation. But that understanding has never seemed to migrate into providing the same kind of focused, world-class training or rock star recognition that the "other folks" get.
You know, the ones that sit up front, push a few buttons, and take credit for getting from point A to point B. Not to dismiss the efforts of these highly trained and skilled professionals that fly, but it has always seemed odd to me that the ones who are behind it all and maintain these finely tuned technologies seem somehow to fade into the background of our collective minds.
Of course, when something goes wrong with a maintenance task, everyone is quick to recognize it—the panel that fell off in flight or the landing gear pin that was left installed. With the millions of maintenance sequences that occur around the globe every week, it’s amazing we don’t see more of these.
Let me be clear about what I see: Millions of flights across our industry take place safely without significant recognition of the people who make it happen. It’s time we take notice and celebrate these men and women as rock stars in their own right.
A Tough Time for Technicians
The airworthiness of aircraft has never been in better hands, but the entire system is severely stressed right now, making it an extremely tough time for professional technicians. COVID protocols, flying schedule upheaval, proficiency concerns, financial questions and a host of the other basic mental health matters the entire world is dealing with make the error-free work needed to ensure airworthiness a very tough task. We must respect and mitigate this risk. And since I operate under the philosophy that none of us is as smart as all of us, I’m casting a wide net.
Industry-wide, I’m declaring 2022 as “The Year of the Aviation Mechanic,” with the idea of bringing all available resources to bear in support of these tireless professionals during these challenging times. Operators, OEMs, MROs, academia, insurance companies and other special interest groups all can play a valuable role in a coordinated effort.
This might end up being nothing more than a symbolic gesture. Or it could gain momentum and become a powerful tool to improve the airworthiness and professional readiness across our industry. Time will tell.
Right now, I’m a lone voice with a big idea. But with just a little help to get the ball rolling, we might be able to highlight the incredible work, opportunity and rewards that come with the job, and recruit the next generation into a culture of proud, compliant, professionalism.
So, here is what I am asking.
Think about what the industry needs to improve the recruitment, training and performance of professional maintainers. Write down your list and send it to me.
Think hard about what you can do, where you are, to support our maintenance professionals during this challenging time. Take the actions available to you. Share what works.
Join in the year-long effort to create sustainable improvement across the industry. Towards that end, we have some events already in mind.
Convergent Performance will fund, develop and deliver a worldwide celebration and online symposium on the past, present and future of these doggedly persistent men and women who “keep ‘em flying.” This is tentatively planned for June 2022, so stay tuned for more developments and outreach for presenters and ideas.
Additionally, we will seek out partners and contributors to make this more than a one-day event and provide sustainable improvement ideas for those who are in small organizations who might not otherwise have the resources to take advantage of advanced training opportunities.
About Global Aerospace SM4 Aviation Safety Program
The Global Aerospace SM4 Safety Program has revolutionized the way insurance specialists help their clients achieve higher levels of operational safety. SM4 was built on the concept of integrating four critical safety components: planning, prevention, response and recovery. Its mission is to help organizations manage risk, enrich training efforts, strengthen safety culture and improve safety management systems.
Vertical Aerospace | July 19, 2022
Vertical Aerospace a global aerospace and technology company that is pioneering zero-emissions aviation and CAE a market leader in flight simulation and training, today announced that CAE will be the pilot training partner for Vertical’s launch eVTOL aircraft, the VX4.
CAE will design and develop a world-class training program and be the exclusive training device provider, tailoring the high-fidelity, next-generation flight simulation training device for the VX4 aircraft. The innovative pilot training program will leverage advanced technologies including Mixed Reality and Artificial Intelligence to enhance the learning experience and will help shift the training paradigm toward cost-effectiveness and scalability, while ensuring safety is paramount for Vertical and its operators.
Advanced Air Mobility is expected to drive unprecedented demand for qualified, professionally trained pilots for inner-city and regional electric flights. Additionally, because CAE currently provides training products and services to many of Vertical’s industry-leading customer base, a smoother integration of new AAM pilot training programmes into their training portfolios is anticipated.
Upon the signing of a definitive agreement, Vertical and CAE will start working together three years ahead of the VX4’s targeted entry into service in 2025, a critical step towards making safe eVTOL flights a reality.
“Vertical has built its commercial ecosystem with customers, regulators, and infrastructure partners to enable AAM and ensure we have partnerships in place to introduce safer, cleaner and quieter mobility for everyone. Bringing CAE into our unrivalled ecosystem is a key enabler to solve the training requirement for our customers, as we prepare for the VX4’s entry into service.”
Harry Holt, Deputy CEO of Vertical
Nick Leontidis, CAE’s Group President, Civil Aviation, said “CAE’s longstanding training relationships with top-tier airlines and operators is a key differentiator for us as they expand into eVTOL operations with Vertical. They know they can count on CAE for advanced training as they venture into this new market. We are excited to join Vertical’s ecosystem and work hand in hand to build the aviation workforce of the future.”
This partnership announcement comes following Vertical’s recent announcement of progress in its certification process for the VX4, with the European Union Aviation Standards Agency agreeing to concurrently validate the UK Civil Aviation Authority’s certification of the VX4 and the adoption of SC-VTOL as the certification basis for the aircraft. Vertical expects to reach several critical certification milestones in the coming months, as the VX4’s test flight programme begins in Summer 2022.
About Vertical Aerospace
Vertical Aerospace is pioneering electric aviation. The company was founded in 2016 by Stephen Fitzpatrick, an established entrepreneur best known as the founder of the Ovo Group, a leading energy and technology group and Europe’s largest independent energy retailer. Over the past five years, Vertical has focused on building the most experienced and senior team in the eVTOL industry, who have over 1,700 combined years of engineering experience, and have certified and supported over 30 different civil and military aircraft and propulsion systems.
Vertical’s top-tier partner ecosystem is expected to de-risk operational execution and its pathway to certification allows for a lean cost structure and enables production at scale. Vertical has a market-leading pre-order book by value for more than 1,400 aircraft from global customers creating multiple potential near term and actionable routes to market. Customers include American Airlines, Virgin Atlantic, Avolon, Bristow, Marubeni, Iberojet and FLYINGGROUP, as well as Japan Airlines Gol, Air Greenland, Gozen Holding and AirAsia, through Avolon’s VX4 placements.
About the VX4 eVTOL Aircraft
The piloted zero operating emissions four-passenger VX4, is projected to be capable of travelling distances over 100 miles, achieving top speeds of up to 200mph, while producing minimal noise and has a low cost per passenger mile. The VX4 is expected to open up advanced air mobility to a whole new range of passengers and transform how we travel.
At CAE, we equip people in critical roles with the expertise and solutions to create a safer world. As a technology company, we digitalize the physical world, deploying simulation training and critical operations support solutions. Above all else, we empower pilots, airlines, defence and security forces, and healthcare practitioners to perform at their best every day and when the stakes are the highest. Around the globe, we’re everywhere customers need us to be with more than 13,000 employees in more than 200 sites and training locations in over 40 countries. CAE represents 75 years of industry firsts—the highest-fidelity flight and mission simulators, surgical manikins, and personalized training programs powered by artificial intelligence. We’re investing our time and resources into building the next generation of cutting-edge, digitally immersive training and critical operations solutions while keeping positive environmental, social and governance (ESG) impact at the core of our mission.
Dedrone | June 24, 2022
Dedrone, the market leader in smart airspace security, announced it partnered with Threat Management Group to provide airspace security for South Carolina Law Enforcement Division during the popular Cooper River Bridge Run. Due to the pandemic, the annual race was held twice within a six-month period, in September 2021 and again in April 2022. SLED utilized Dedrone technology to secure the airspace for runners and spectators during both events. Using funding from the 2020 Port Security Grant Program SLED leveraged Dedrone’s Smart Airspace Security solution, deploying mobile DedroneSensors on marine vessels and installing Dedrone Sensors around the bridge in a static configuration to ensure wide-area security. During the 2021/2022 events, three drones were intercepted and SLED was able to quickly de-escalate the threat. Dedrone’s technology helped ensure the safest and most secure events in the history of the 10K race, the third largest of its kind in the United States.
“We needed a scalable drone detection solution capable of detecting a wide variety of drones and flexible enough to be deployed in our highly complex race environment, which includes both the land and marine components,” said Trey Elrod at SLED. “After an extensive analysis of available solutions, Dedrone was the clear market leader. The ease of deployment, robust drone detection library and simplicity of the user interface made it much easier for law enforcement to successfully protect our annual Bridge Run.”
Drone detection is complex. Drones come in various shapes, sizes and control mechanisms, with fixed wings or a varying number of rotors. Radio frequencies also vary - many drones are controlled using common radio protocols, but others are controlled via Wi-Fi. Dedrone shines a light on the “blind spot” of suspicious drones, ensuring airspace is safe from unwanted aircraft and providing tools to help mitigate threats.
“We were honored to work with TMG and SLED to help secure the iconic Cooper River Bridge Run, especially as these were the first events following the pandemic and the community was excited to be together again. Airspace security is now a critical part of ensuring the safety of participants in any live event, and Dedrone makes it easy for law enforcement to quickly and easily manage unauthorized drones.”
Aaditya Devarakonda, CEO of Dedrone
Races, stadiums and live events are especially vulnerable to drone threats, both from nefarious actors and individuals seeking to get their own unique footage. Spectators and participants alike are vulnerable to physical threats, while event organizers also worry about copyright infringement issues. Dedrone and TMG have successfully partnered to secure additional events, including NASCAR.
“TMG provides a wide range of counter technologies for Unmanned Aircraft Systems including risk management, training, TTP development and drone detection solutions,” said Brandon Cox, CEO, TMG. “Dedrone is the company we trust most to provide our clients with a complete end-to-end, drone-agnostic detection solution.”
Dedrone works across 35 countries to deliver best-in-class detection, identification, tracking, and mitigation of drones. The company’s technology is used by four of the G-7 nations, nine U.S. federal agencies, including the Department of Defense, and more than 70 critical infrastructure sites, 20 airports and 50 correctional facilities worldwide.
Dedrone is the market leader in smart airspace security. Dedrone’s counter-drone system is trusted by hundreds of commercial, government, and military customers globally to protect against unauthorized drones. With flexibility to host on premise or in the cloud via Dedrone’s Airspace Security-as-a-Service (ASaaS), Dedrone customers can detect, identify, locate, analyze and mitigate unauthorized drone threats. Established in 2014, Dedrone is headquartered in San Francisco, with operations in the Washington, D.C.-area, Columbus, Ohio, London, and Germany.
Colambda Technologies | June 18, 2022
Colambda Technologies Inc, formerly named New Century Resources Corporation proudly announces, its subsidiary, Job Aire Group (JAG) has opened a satellite office in Mexico City giving it greater access to international markets.
Nick Ammons, JAG President, indicated the year-to-date revenues are over $10,000,000. Ammons expects to grow JAG, diversify its market presence, and facilitate Colambda Technologies' move into manufacturing of the Emissions Zero Module technology on a much larger scale.
JAG was acquired to facilitate the development of Colambda Technologies' flagship product, the Emissions Zero Module, for use on piston driven general aviation (GA) aircraft and to obtain Premarket Approval from the FAA for use on all GA aircraft. JAG is a multi-technical aviation company specializing in contract labor, aircraft and engine inspection, and aeronautical engineering. The company also assists clients with aircraft repair and refurbishment.