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Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by SteveMann, Dec 5, 2014.

  1. SteveMann

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    From: http://www.faa.gov/news/updates/?newsId ... id=101_N_U
    "The FAA currently estimates as many as 7,500 small commercial UAS may be in use by 2018, assuming the necessary regulations are in place."

    This may help explain why the FAA seems to think that requiring a pilot's license is going to be an easy sell.

    Are they in for an awakening when their upcoming NPRM will get tens of thousands of comments.

    kind of reminds me of something Thomas Watson, president of IBM, 1943 said: "I think there is a world market for maybe five computers." (No, I wasn't there).
    Darryl Zanuck, executive at 20th Century Fox, 1946, "Television won't be able to hold on to any market it captures after the first six months. People will soon get tired of staring at a plywood box every night."
    Ken Olsen, founder of Digital Equipment Corporation, 1977, "There is no reason anyone would want a computer in their home." (DEC was bought by Compaq in 1998, which was bought by HP in 2002).
    Robert Metcalfe, founder of 3Com, 1995, "I predict the Internet will soon go spectacularly supernova and in 1996 catastrophically collapse."
    Bill Gates, founder of Microsoft, 2004, "Two years from now, spam will be solved."
    Bill Gates at an early microcomputer trade show in Seattle in mid 1981. "640K ought to be enough for anybody". (Microsoft denies it, but there are witnesses).
     
  2. PhantomFanatic

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    This is second hand information, but Amazon is already hiring drone operators. I heard long ago about their plans to deliver some products by drone. I see problems with this, that they may have already figured out, though.

    If deliveries by drones does catch on, the commercial market will go supernova. There are advantages, such as my sister getting her cancer sticks by drone, instead of my delivering them when I had to run an errand last night! (I've never understood why smokers don't by the cartons.) But, I'm a bit OT!
     
  3. ianwood

    ianwood Taco Wrangler
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    This says everything about the FAA's vision of the future. I bet they think 7,500 would be an accomplishment.

    You're giving the FAA way too much credit there as those are all super smart people. But to add to the mix, Bell once said of the telephone "One day there'll be one of these in every major city."

    The FAA has yet to give Amazon permission to even conduct tests.

    Innovation stifled. Thank you FAA.
     
  4. garrock

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    A proclaimation:

    • "It's your airspace, use it when you need it !"

    [youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HX0fIi3H-es[/youtube]
     
  5. Suwaneeguy

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    Yeah Steve, this whole thing with the FAA trying to regulate RCMA is a complete laugh.

    All this hullaballoo seemed to have started when Obama appointed a certain person to the FAA.
    We were just fine until that day.

    My favorite little thing on the future has to do with a certain bit of history.
    Two men standing on the Potomac river banks were watching some new fangled thing called a stemship.
    "What good is it?" one said.
    "What good is a baby?" replied the other.
    The other was Benjamin Franklin.
     
  6. BuzzBuzzZoomZoom

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    What's a stemship?
     
  7. spudraleigh

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    Not sure what they are, but they sure don't grow on trees! ( :lol: at my own spectacularly and painfully dumb joke!)
     
  8. smaugnaut

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    the FAA is a joke.
     
  9. SteveMann

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    Not really. The FAA has historically been pretty good to work with. Their enforcement division, however is completely out of touch with reality.
    The point of my OP was that if the FAA only expects 7,500 commercial drones by 2018, they are seriously delusional. I would not be surprised to see 10,000 applications in the first year that the final rules are enacted.

    It seems like the mess the FCC made of the Citizens Radio Service in the 1970's. Through the 1970's the FCC tried in vain to get the "CB" operators to follow the rules. They fined a bunch, but for every one they caught violating the rules (usually station ID or power), there was a thousand new ones. Finally in the mid 1980's the FCC was completely overwhelmed and they said, "**** - we give up" and eliminated most of the rules for CB radio.

    I think something similar may happen if the FAA promulgates sUAV rules that are unreasonable and difficult or impossible to follow. They will largely be ignored.
     
  10. MadMitch88

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    Delivery by drone is definitely the "killer app" for these machines.

    As much as everyone in here tries hard to feign interest in aerial videography, it gets boring REALLY fast. Once you're up in the air, every patch of forest looks the same, every cornfield looks the same, and every house pretty much looks the same. Put me to sleep!

    Drones will hit supernova once people find real utility in them --- delivering products, surveillance, search & rescue, etc.
     
  11. Suwaneeguy

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    Steve, I think your estimates are a tad low. Double that.

    You're forgetting that UAV's also include every facet of remote controlled flight. Not just the new fad of multirotor copters.
    The real argument is, should a UAV pilot be licensed in the same manner as any other pilot who flies the friendly skies?
    Age requirement is not a factor at the present. It will be if the FAA has their way. So no, your 10 year old kid isn't gonna be flying.
    Until the past few years most RCMA pilots have not ventured out beyond large fields so the FAA was happy.
    Now that these little quads can fly just about anywhere, the FAA is attempting to control the where rule once again.

    IMO, the FAA should stick to enforcing their current laws on their properly licensed pilots and aircraft.
     
  12. Great Pumpkin

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    Yesterday I saw a marvelous application of UAS videography. A contractor has been building 6 huge modular truss bridges to carry a railroad over a freeway in Riverside County, CA. The construction has taken place about a half mile off-site, then each truss was moved to the site by the big trailers that carried the space shuttle to its museum resting place in Los Angeles. It is clear from the video that the construction and much of the night moving was monitored by a UAS. I'll bet 10ยข that the contractor didn't bother to communicate with the FAA. My point, as has been stated above, is that UAS videography is proliferating broadly and rapidly in many unanticipated directions, both commercially and privately, too much and too fast for the FAA to monitor and control every single instance. Will the FAA's only practical recourse be to make examples of a few to squelch the many?
     
  13. Timtro

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    I have really serious doubts about "delivering products", and the first dozen reasons are not the FAA.

    On the other point, you have to take a test for a drivers licenses to prove you know the basic rules of the road. And you have to carry proof of insurance. It is totally logical to expect the FAA to require perhaps a scaled down version of the written test for the same reason. Flying without a license (or learner's permit) and insurance should be the same as driving, and that is not at all unreasonable, given the risks and liabilities involved.

    It's not what you don't know that is most dangerous, it's what you don't know that you don't know.

    To another point above, a 10 year old should have no problem flying at an AMA field. Anywhere else could be trouble.

    A 16 year old can take a test and get a license to drive a car and a 16 year old can be a student pilot. A 16 year old should be able to take a test to start a UAV business and join the rest of us, but not the 10 year old.
     
  14. wincrasher

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    I'm not sure what the FAA is doing is in response to the public's unease about drones - i.e. the government owned drones spying on the citizenry - which of course, non of their regs addresses. But it shows SOMETHING is being done about these **** drones!

    Or is it special interest lobbying from the likes of Amazon, etc., to clear the airspace so they can conduct their boondoggle? Which will never work by the way. Can you imagine the liability of their package carrying drones crashing all over the place? The next thing, after we are all regulated out of existance, is they get the law changed so they have no commercial liability for the damages they cause!

    Either way, the AMA basically became collaborators with the FAA until it's really too late to prevent any downside for the hobbyists.

    Now that it's really too late, they are all out, fundraising and whatnot, and writing articles, to "do something". How self-serving!

    Like we all don't see right thru it.
     
  15. ianwood

    ianwood Taco Wrangler
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    AMA collaborators? Amazon lobbyists?

    I think the AMA is doing the lobbying but they are out muscled by the 1:1 scale lobbyists from the aerospace industry and clueless senators who think the drone apocalypse is imminent. Amazon is on the outside looking in. This is not their industry.

    This whole exercise is about control. The FAA wants all of it. The aerospace industry wants the exclusive access. The senators want to say they saved us from calamity.

    As for public unease about drones, it's a media fueled paranoia. There is no spying. You can blame the conflation of military and civilian activities under one moniker but the media are the sole owners of this colossal misconception.
     
  16. wincrasher

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    I think the AMA played "uncle tom" with the FAA in the early stages, thinking that if there were going to be pilot requirements, that they would be in the cat-bird seat to have all drone pilots to have to be members of, and under the umbrella of the AMA.

    When that colossally backfired on them, now they are suing, lobbying, etc. It's too late unfortunately.

    When they had the chance, they should have actually lobbied for the interests of their constituents, not conspired with what they thought was "best" for them.
     
  17. SteveMann

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    "Never" is a LONG time. I predict that in ten years, Air amazon will be as ubiquitous as the brown vans in the neighborhoods today. But they won't be flying to the home, they will be flying from a central warehouse to a neighborhood hub where they have control of both ends of the flight. Then a ground-based courier will hand deliver the last mile while the hub sends the drone back to the warehouse. For safety, there's been some experiments with redundant systems. An octocopter which can sustain flight on four motors, for example.

    In 20 years FedEx will be using 737 size drones.
    In 50 years your only flight crew will be the stewards. The pilots will be on the ground earning minimum wage.
    In 100 years no one will remember what a pilot did back in the day.
     
  18. Timtro

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    Unfortunately, a lot of that makes a lot of sense. Ouch!
     
  19. MrTommy

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    You can probably cut all those estimates in half - and be right.

    And, I kinda equate the general public's fear of "Drones" up there with the privacy fear that came about with almost all cell phones having cameras. "Nobody is safe from the prying eyes".

    I live close to a small airport and there's four guys (or gals, what do I know?) that fly those Ultra-Light V-wing thingies all over the place. They aren't all that high most of the time, and they fly over our houses all day long. Nobody thinks THEY are taking pictures. But a quad? The only purpose of a quad is to spy on folks in their back yards, or so that's the fear, even though there are NO quads flying over houses. At least not around here.

    I can't wait for the next "fear" to show up so we can get a breath . . . .
     
  20. Fyod

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    I'm not sure where you got this idea, but its probably the worst one I've read.
    Even if battery cap. doubled in those 10 years, you could in theory either carry approx. double the weight or fly 5 miles back and forth twice (today's big drones can't even go 2x5mi), in regards to distance.
    And then there's this courier just sitting there, waiting for the drone and delivering the last mile? Getting payed? Driving those packages in a car?
    Over here we already have same day delivery by van, only drawback is you have to order by 10am. An those guys wish they only had to travel 5 miles or even 10 miles + a 1 mile radius. 10 miles even in horrid traffic is maybe 45 minutes.
    It would make so much more sense if they just used small electric vans filled with dozens of those lightweight deliveries.