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Max Flight

Host & Producer of The UAV Digest, Host of Airplane Geeks Podcast & Host & Editor of #PaxEx Podcast
Max Flight is a retired Aviation enthusiast, currently focuses his online activity on aviation Podcasts. He co-founded the Airplane Geeks Podcast and also produces The UAV Digest. He co-hosts the PaxEx Podcast and Airplane Geeks Podcast.
Recent episodes featuring Max Flight
307 UAV Battery Technology
The UAV Digest
Airbus funds new UAV battery technology and flys a rotary-wing UAV, an upcoming UAS Traffic Management workshop, a hydrogen-powered UAV for the Navy, a heavy-payload long-range drone, drones for all budgets, drone racing at Daytona, and how mosquitoes might help drones make less noise. UAV News Airbus’s VSR700 Rotary-wing UAV Takes Flight Airbus Helicopters has flown their VSR700 prototype at a drone test center in France. It’s a rotary-wing, multi-mission Naval UAS (RWUAS) that was tethered on 30-meter cables and fitted with stabilizing outriggers. A year ago, Airbus flew an optionally piloted demonstrator for the VSR700 that was based on an existing light helicopter. This new prototype is redesigned with a payload bay replacing the flight deck. Airbus Funds Next-Gen UAV Battery Technology Airbus Defence and Space is providing financing to battery technology company Amprius. That company manufactures high energy density lithium-ion batteries based on silicon nanowire anode technology. Amprius says their batteries provide up to 50% more power than standard lithium-ion batteries. The Airbus funding is expected to help Amprius develop a higher volume production capacity as well as even higher energy density cells. FAA and NASA Drone Industry Workshop The FAA and NASA will jointly host an Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) Traffic Management (UTM) Pilot Program (UPP) Phase 2 Industry Workshop. The half-day workshop is scheduled for December 9, 2019, at NASA’s Ames Conference Center in Mountain View, California. Registration is free but attendance will be limited to the first 150 to register, with a limit of two attendees per organization. For additional background, see: FAA/NASA UAS Traffic Management Pilot Program (UPP) [PDF] Navy Accepts First-of-its-kind HYCOPTER Hydrogen Powered UAS The six-rotor HYCOPTER from H3 Dynamics is the first hydrogen fuel cell-powered rotary-wing UAS for the US Navy. The Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California took delivery of their HYCOPTER on October 25, 2019. With a takeoff weight of about 35 pounds and a blade tip-to-blade tip diameter of 7 feet, the UAS can carry a five-pound payload in an open bay for about 2 ½ hours. The HYCOPTER uses an ultralight PEM fuel cell and compressed hydrogen gas. Austin, Texas-based HES Energy Systems is a subsidiary of H3 Dynamics and describes the HYCOPTER on its website as “Designed and manufactured in the USA.” UAVita Showcases a Heavy-Payload, Long-Range UAV Drone The UAVita Discovery is a medium-sized, fixed-wing UAV that can carry heavy payloads over a long range. Originally used for crop dusting and precision ag, it’s now being used for other long-range missions such as search and rescue, highway monitoring, and powerline inspections. Video: UAvita Systems Showcases Their Heavy-payload Drone at Commercial UAV Expo 2019 Seasoned Pilot or Aviation Amateur, Here Are 5 Drones for All Budgets Consider the DROCON Bugs 3, Syma X5C, Parrot Mambo Drone FPV Kit, DJI Spark, or even the DJI Inspire 2. Drone racing takes a whirl in Daytona Stadium Over 1,000 drone racers tried to qualify for the 5th annual RaceDayQuads 2019 MultiGP Drone Racing Championship in Daytona Stadium. The sports class saw 125 racers qualify, while 85 qualified for the pro-competition. MultiGP is a global, professional, drone racing league with hundreds of international chapters and over 27,000 registered drone racers. Sounds of mosquito mating rituals could lead to quieter drones Researchers at Johns Hopkins University discovered that mosquitoes can focus the buzz they make in the direction of potential mates. A paper published in Bioinspiration and Biomimetics says, “…understanding the strategies and adaptations employed by insects such as mosquitoes to control their aeroacoustic noise could eventually provide insights into the development of quiet drones and other bioinspired micro-aerial vehicles.”
578 Aircraft Certification
Airplane Geeks Podcast
The president and CEO of AeroTEC explains the process for engineering, testing, and aircraft certification. In the news, Boeing expects deliveries of the 737 MAX to resume in December 2019, the FAA has a new ADS-B privacy policy, WOW rises from the ashes as Icelandic LCC Play, and a gender reveal stunt ends in a crash. Also, the Commemorative Air Force’s first Air Force One, the Evolution Turbine, comments on Garmin’s Autoland, and the Sukhoi Superjet 100. Guest Lee Human, AeroTEC president and CEO. Lee Human is president and CEO of AeroTEC, an independent provider of initial engineering, design, prototype manufacturing, testing, and airworthiness certification. The company uses in-house instrumentation, software, tools, and processes throughout the projects. We discuss aircraft certification: what it is and how it takes place within the overall design and development process of a new aircraft or aircraft modification. Lee explains organizational delegation and why there is a partnership between the FAA and the manufacturer. We talk about the independence of the decisions DERs make and the establishment by the FAA of the roles in the compliance review community. Since aircraft certification is a current topic as it relates to the Boeing 737 MAX, we take the opportunity to consider if larger quality system issues are the root of recent aircraft problems. Lee discusses the certification criteria used for the 737 MAX and the possible impact of a long legacy design history. Lee explains why OEMs come to AeroTEC for services, and he tells us about some of the new initiatives, such as electric aircraft projects with magniX (see episode 524 where we talked with CEO Roei Ganzarski) and Eviation. He also touches on the Supersonic Flight Alliance which seeks to provide a space for responsible supersonic development in Washington State. Lee has been personally involved in the testing, engineering, and certification of over 50 major aerospace projects, including Aviation Partners’ Blended Winglets on the B737, B757, and B767 as well as Gulfstream, Hawker, and Falcon aircraft. Lee also worked on the Lockheed Martin Cooperative Avionics Test Bed (CATB) 737-300 with F35 (JSF) systems, the Hawker Beechcraft King Air 250, and the Mitsubishi MRJ type certificate. Prior to starting AeroTEC in 2003, Lee was flight test manager at Aviation Partners Boeing (APB) and before that he was a lead engineer at Aircraft Engineering Specialists (AES). Lee is a graduate of the University of Massachusetts Amherst College of Engineering and has earned credentials as an FAA DER, as well a private multi-engine instrument pilot’s license. Aviation News Boeing expects to resume 737 Max deliveries in December and commercial service green light in January Boeing said 737 MAX deliveries should resume in early December 2019. Airlines could start flying the plane in January. Recently, Southwest Airlines and American Airlines pulled the 737 MAX from their schedules until early March. A Boeing spokesman said, “We know they need more time to get their fleets ready and pilots trained, but the plane and training [approvals] will both be done by January, permitting commercial service.” The Federal Aviation Administration reiterated that its officials “have set no timeframe for when the work will be completed.” What FAA’s New ADS-B Privacy Policy Means for Business Aviation Operators A new Privacy ICAO Address (PIA) will be available on January 1, 2020, on 1090 MHz ADSB-Out in U.S. domestic airspace. This will happen in two phases: First, business and general aviation operators will be able to apply for the program directly through the FAA. Later, the FAA will transition the service to a “third-party service provider.” The FAA commented, “The NBAA and members of the GA community have cited the lack of privacy as a barrier to ADS-B Out equipage. In order to mitigate these concerns, the FAA has initiated the Privacy ICAO Address program with the objective of improving the privacy of aircraft operators in today’s ADS-B environment by limiting the extent to which the aircraft can be quickly and easily identified by non-U.S. government entities, while ensuring there is no adverse effect on ATC services.” New Airline PLAY Paints WOW Red New low-cost carrier PLAY will operate the A320 family, flying both passenger and freight. As did WOW, the airline plans to fly east and west from Iceland. When the fleet grows to six by spring serving Europe, PLAY will then look at North American routes in the Summer. See also Play Plans to Expand Fast. Gender Reveal Stunt Injures Pilot, Damages Plane An expecting couple planned to have an Air Tractor 602 aerial application aircraft spray pink dyed water to announce they would be having a girl. That part worked, but what happened next was unplanned. Report Reporter-at-large Launchpad Marzari speaks with Nick Widenkoff at Wings Over Dallas about the first Air Force One, an Aero Commander. To learn more about this aircraft, visit Ike’s Bird and the Commemorative Air Force. Mentioned Troubled Russian Plane Makes Emergency Landing After Engine Failure Delta Airlines Safety Card Safety Video (2019) Evolution Turbine Austin Meyer’s Evolution Turbine Austin Meyer’s Evolution Turboprop. Xavion Avionics: When all else fails an app that helps you glide to safety
306 Drone Registration
The UAV Digest
Drone registration requirements in the UK and Singapore, automated safe landing technology, the speed of drone technology development, package delivery progress and issues, and counter-UAS technology funding. UAV News UK Drone Operators Have Until the End of November to Register With the Government All drone owners and operators in the UK with droves that weigh more than 250g have to register them by November 30, 2019. Registration costs £9. Failure to register can result in a fine of as much as £1,000. In addition to registration, anyone flying a drone over 250g must also take an online education and test to receive a flyer ID. Users can now register as a drone operator and/or flyer at: Drones Reunited In the UK, 26% of drone owners say they lost a drone. Drones United leverages off the new UK drone registration system to help owners reconnect with their lost drones. Singapore mandates unmanned aircraft registration Starting January 2, 2020, the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) will require all unmanned aircraft over 250 grams to be registered before it can be operated. A sticker with a unique registration number must be affixed to each unmanned aircraft. The penalty for flying an unregistered aircraft could be up to S$10,000 or jail for six months, or both. Are UAVs Properly Tested, or is Development Rushed? Satellite-based drone connectivity encompasses a number of issues such as cost, weight, and power. “Validation of stable and reliable connectivity under all circumstances is paramount to the success of Beyond Line of Sight UAV operations.” Automated Emergency Safe Landing Technology Black Swift Technologies SwiftSTL (Swift Safe-To-Land) technology was developed to address catastrophic in-flight failures. It captures and segments images and autonomously identifies a safe landing location. This is accomplished through machine learning algorithms, artificial intelligence (AI), and onboard processors to identify obstacles like people, buildings, vehicles, structures, etc. To learn more, see the white paper, “AI and Machine Learning’s Role in Enabling Automated Emergency Safe Landings of UAS – A Key Enabler for Safe Beyond Visible Line of Sight (BVLOS) Flights.” [PDF] What if a delivery drone falls on your head? Thorny legal questions loom as services increase This article poses questions about airspace ownership, privacy, and liability. UPS drone makes first home prescription deliveries for CVS CVS and UPS announced the first commercial delivery of prescription medications by drones to customers. UPS’ Flight Forward drones delivered to the front lawn of a private home and a retirement center. The drones hovered at an altitude of about 20 feet and lowered the packages. UK government funds 18 projects to develop anti-drone technologies The UK government approved £2 million ($2.57 million) to fund 18 projects to develop anti-drone and drone detection technologies. In April, 2019, the Defence and Security Accelerator (DASA) program under the UK’s Ministry of Defence (MOD) asked the private sector to come up with new technologies that could detect approaching drones, and neutralize the threat.
577 Garmin Autoland System
Airplane Geeks Podcast
We take a look at the new Garmin Autoland system and re-discover the Interceptor 400 pressurized turboprop. Also, Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg and the congressional hearings, a fatal accident at a radio control soaring competition, flying lessons funded by British Airways, and the Labour Party wants to ban private jets that use fossil fuel. We celebrate Veteran’s Day by honoring two WWII vets and discuss some great topics raised in listener feedback. Aviation News Garmin® revolutionizes the aviation industry with the first Autoland system for general aviation aircraft In the event of an emergency such as pilot incapacitation, the Garmin Autoland system can be activated for an autonomous landing of the aircraft. The system determines the most optimal airport and runway, taking into account factors such as weather, terrain, obstacles and aircraft performance statistics. Garmin Autoland can also activate automatically if it feels the pilot is unresponsive. Cirrus and Piper Aircraft announced they’ll implement the system. Video: Garmin Autonomí: Autoland Activation Turboprop Aircraft, Design and Tooling Discovered in Kansas Barn The Interceptor 400 pressurized turboprop was not a commercial success – perhaps it was ahead of its time. Recently the plane was discovered “carefully stored in obscurity on a farm in Wichita, Kansas.” The Interceptor 400 is for sale, along with the airplane’s FAA type certificate, drawings, jigs and tooling. In five-hour grilling over 737 MAX crashes, House panel reveals Boeing memos, calls on CEO Muilenburg to resign ‘I would walk before I would get on a 737 MAX’: Boeing CEO Muilenburg faces hostility but gets through first day of hearings Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg appeared before the US Congress, admitting that “we made mistakes, we got some things wrong.” At the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee hearing, several asked for Muilenburg to step down. Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn. accused Boeing of “a pattern of deliberate concealment” and said, “Boeing came to my office shortly after the accidents and said they were the result of pilot errors. Those pilots never had a chance.” David Cortina: United States remote control glider pilot freed on bail after accident that killed a woman in Pingtung County, Taiwan At the F3F Radio Control Soaring (Slope) World Cup in Taiwan, the remote control glider operated by an American pilot struck a woman and killed her. At the time, she was holding her 2-year-old son, who sustained a cut on his neck. British Airways to fund flying lessons in 2020 In partnership with The Air League Trust, British Airways plans to fund flying lessons for 200 UK students in 2020. The airline funded lessons for students in a 2019 trial at Booker Aviation Flying School. Next year, the program will expand to other flying schools. Labour explores plans to ban private jets from UK airports from 2025 If the Labour party wins the election, they might ban private jets from UK airports starting as soon as 2025. After a report found that sector produced the equivalent carbon emissions of 450,000 cars each year, Andy McDonald, the shadow transport secretary, said “The multi-millionaires & billionaires who travel by private jet are doing profound damage to the climate, and it’s the rest of us who’ll suffer the consequences. A phase-out date for the use of fossil fuel private jets is a sensible proposal.” Veteran’s Day Micah presents “Solon’s Gone,” a story about a veteran who flew B-24 Liberators in the Pacific during World War II. Solon Graham, top left standing – with crew. Max and Micah interview Richard Hammond, age 96, who was a B-17 Tail Gunner in the Second World War.  Dick Hammond Facebook page 463rd Bomb Group Pig Chaser and Crew Pig Chaser and crew. Richard Hammond is right-most standing. Mentioned Jaunt Air Mobility Air Taxi How I Built This with Guy Raz – JetBlue Airways: David Neeleman
305 Mavic Mini, First Look
The UAV Digest
The new Mavic Mini is so light that FAA registration is not required. Meanwhile, the US Department of the Interior has grounded Chinese drones, additional sensitive facilities have been added to the no-fly list, Uber Eats unveiled a delivery drone, a Navy submarine was resupplied by a drone, a white paper looks at drones at live broadcast events, and an airport welcomes drones – for facilities inspections. The Mavic Mini, Courtesy DJI. UAV News The Mavic Mini is DJI’s first drone that doesn’t need FAA registration DJI says the new Mavic Mini is the smallest and lightest drone they have ever made. The “everyday flycam” weighs 249 grams, one gram under the threshold for FAA registration. With folding legs, creative shooting modes, automatic return to home, and up to 30 minutes flight time, the Mavic Mini shoots 1080p video at up to 60 frames per second from a three-axis gimbal. The quadcopter is available for preorder and will ship on November 11, 2019. Entire drone fleet grounded by US government agency The US Department of the Interior has grounded drones made in China, or that use Chinese parts. The Department has initiated a security investigation and depending on the results, the Department may resume drone flights. The Department of the Interior uses drones to inspect dams, inspect land, monitor environmental damage and endangered species, and aid emergency workers with wildfires, floods, and other natural disasters. The agency is concerned the drones could transmit images and video to China about key installations. UAS Operations Restricted At More Federal Facilities The FAA is restricting UAS operations over 60 additional Department of Defense and Department of Justice facilities. An FAA Notice to Airmen (NOTAM), FDC 9/7752, defines these special security instructions and the FAA UAS Data Delivery System has the restrictions, including a list of restrictions (National Security UAS Flight Restrictions) and a map of the restrictions (Map of FAA UAS Data). The FAA’s B4UFLY mobile app will also include the restrictions. Here’s what the Uber Eats delivery drone looks like Uber has unveiled the Uber Eats VTOL delivery drone with two rotating wings, each with three rotors. The maximum flight time is eight minutes over a 12-mile round trip delivery range. Uber doesn’t plan restaurant-to-doorstep delivery. Rather orders will be flown to predetermined drop-off locations and an Eats driver will make the “last-mile” delivery. First Navy Submarine Resupplied By Commercial Drone A small quadcopter resupplied the USS Hawaii (SSN 776), a fast attack submarine, one mile off Oahu, Hawaii. The 5-pound payload in this test included circuit cards, medical supplies, and food. White Paper: Rethinking Drone Usage on Live Broadcasts Drone use in live sports broadcasts hasn’t been as successful as some had hoped. Issues include the safety of spectators and athletes, the noise of drones, short flight times, and the need for immediate response during live broadcasts. The author explains why live motorsports may be a good application. Drone collects runway maintenance data at Edmonton airport At Edmonton International Airport, drones are becoming a regular part of safety inspections of runways, taxiways, and aircraft handling aprons. Canadian UAV services provider AERIUM Analytics has conducted about 3,000 drone flights at the airport over the past four years.
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Episode Count
Podcast Count
Total Airtime
2 weeks, 2 days