Thursday, December 24, 2020

What's the Matter (.net)?

Another company based in Mountain View whose evolution is instructive for the likes of the fliterati like myself.

My first exposure to the possibilities of drones came some years ago on what I think was Christmas Day, during a break from operating an Airbus out of Funchal.

I wandered down to the harbour, where despite the stiff breeze a young Dutchman launched a DJI in order to film the panorama. Having spent half a lifetime managing engine failures in the simulator, I queried whether given any single failure, the drone would not fall from the sky?

He readily agreed it would, but suggested the injuries caused to whomever might be unlucky enough to be on the receiving end of the wreckage might as easily be killed or injured by any other happenstance in the modern world.

In an era when death by motor-car remains the method of choice for the reaper, he had a point.

As do and its investors, it seems, and belatedly I too feel they have a point.

Note their evolution from octocopter, through a ducted and finally an open-rotor quad? The aim is to manage risk rather than try to eliminate it altogether. This is because a 2:1 chance of saving life at the destination of this delivery drone outweighs the 2,000,000:1 chance of any injury to health enroute.

That said I would never trust my own life to a quad at altitude... but might to a pair of quads, either one of may either support me or else mitigate a forced landing

As a consequence, I still feel that the pursuit of a transportation booth powered by a quad on top and a quad below (like that in the prior post) remains wholly worthwhile.

And that's what I plan for 2021 ~ a year when the chance of death by Coronavirus far outweighs that by drone.

And on that note, Happy New Year!