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P R O F I L E

W I T H

B I L L

U T S E T

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M E K C O

ONE FORTY FIVE MAGAZINE

G R O U P

C DE 18ON 20EDITI

THE145

C E O

BY WWW.THE145.COM

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Road

To

Nowhere

2019

THE BEST YEAR TO BE

7

TOP SHOP

STRATOLAUNCH THE SKY’S (NOT) THE LIMIT

AIRCRAFT TRENDS

PREDICTIVE MAINTENANCE

CEO PROFILE

WITH

BILL UTSET MEKCO GROUP

DEC-2018

145 MAGAZINE


It’s about you. Only one MRO has the expertise, experience and purchasing power that comes from keeping more than 800 planes up and flying for the world’s #1 airline. And, we can put that power to work for you, every single day.

© 2016 Delta TechOps

ONLY ONE MRO CAN TREAT YOU LIKE THE WORLD’S #1 AIRLINE.

deltatechops.com


Editor’s Letter

Hi 145 Readers, Isn’t it the best when the Holidays fall on a Monday and Tuesday? It’s such a treat. I hope everyone has plans to be with family and friends and NOT at work! I’m still newly married with no kids, although, we’ve got a little guy cookin’ who’s due to arrive in January! We still do the in-law holiday switch where we’re with my family one year and my husband’s family the next year. So, if you’re that this year you’re not the only one. We have another great issue for you to read. You could read it now or save it for when you’re sitting at home next to the fireplace with a cup of hot chocolate. I know which one I’d choose. Without sharing too much, I’ll let you know that there’s a fun read about the CEO of MEKCO Group, important news about the 2019 Top Shop Awards that’s a must read and a cool article about the Stratolauncher. Never heard of the Statolauncher? Find out more about it in this issue. Happy Holidays, Editor-in-Chief,

Ashley Fox 3


April Volume 5 Issue 6

CONTENTS 5

Building a road to nowhere

P R O F I L E

W I T H

B I L L

U T S E T

O F

M E K C O

ONE FORTY FIVE MAGAZINE

Cover:

G R O U P

C DE01T8ION 2EDI

THE145

C E O

BY WWW.THE145.COM

5

7

Why 2019 will be the best year ever to be a TOP SHOP

Road

To

Nowhere

2019

THE BEST YEAR TO BE

7

TOP SHOP

STRATOLAUNCH THE SKY’S (NOT) THE LIMIT

11

CEO Profile with Bil Utset

AIRCRAFT TRENDS

PREDICTIVE MAINTENANCE

18

WITH

BILL UTSET MEKCO GROUP

Name that Airport DEC-2018

145 MAGAZINE

21

The Sky's NOT the limit

23

Aircraft TrendsPredictive Maintenance

27

Aviation History

Email: info@145magazine.com Tel: +1.888.820.8551 Ext. 704 Fax: +1.801.772.1947

4

CEO PROFILE

145 Magazine

Bill Utset MEKCO Group


Building a road to nowhere Last year, stuck in a road work traffic jam, I watched a masticating pebble-crunching monster spewing out rocks for a new road bed, and marveled at the complex hardware that is apparently needed to make a new highway. What magnificent machines they are. Boxy, smoke-belching monsters, ten feet high. Stompers. Crunchers, all with such brute power. I am not a speed freak but I do secretly dream of dropping off my kids at school one day in a massive steamroller. That will show the other parents. Last week on the same spot, I witnessed another amazing thing: a different monster machine, but this one was carefully scooping up and crushing the new road surface that had been laid down only a year ago. As it turns out, someone made a small mistake: the road itself was fine, as was the soil underneath. It was just in the wrong place. A little planning error by some overzealous engineers had created a beautiful road – but the only problem was that it did not connect to anything. It was a road to nowhere.

The local press here in Taiwan had a field day. Heads rolled, hands were wrung, apologies were made. A once in a lifetime mistake, we were told by remorseful officials. Careful plans had been drawn up but no one had actually bothered to check if the new road was needed or not. I realized right then that a road to nowhere is actually not that unusual. I see them all the time in my business, and I work in branding, not road construction. We get a lot of clients who insists they need a website, but when we ask them what they want to put on it, we often get a blank stare. They want a beautiful road, and they are willing to pay for it, but they have no idea where it should lead. Or who would want to use it. They want a road to nowhere. A road that does not connect to its destination is not a real road – it is just a slab of stone. A website that does not create a meaningful connection between a business and its customers is just a bunch of words and pretty pictures on a publicly accessible screen. No destination means no real road. No meaningful story and clear purpose means a useless website. The rock-crushing machine that I would love to borrow one day to pull up at the curb of my daughter’s school is one sexy piece of brutish hardware, but it is only a small cog in the bigger machine that, ultimately, allows people to connect to each other. It’s easy to get distracted by the hardware and the power and forget what it is all about: forging a meaningful connection. So when a customer walks in for a website, we usually ask a simple questions first: what’s your story? Who do you want to tell it to? Where is your road going, and who will be traveling on it? And most important of all: what is the destination, or goal? Then, only then, do we break out the rock crushers and steam rollers to build a new highway to success for our clients. Written by: Luuk F. van Heerde

145 Magazine

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WHY 2019 WILL BE THE BEST YEAR EVER TO BE A TOP SHOP

M

ost people will agree that sometimes in life timing is everything. For instance, imagine if you’d invested $1000 in Apple, Inc back in 1980, that same investment would be worth over $9 million today. Or what if you had worked on the top floor of the World Trade Center back in 2001 and happened to be on a business trip September 11th? Or how might your life be different if you had chosen to live somewhere else around the time you met you husband or wife, you may have never met them at all. Sometimes timing just comes down to dumb luck and other times it comes down to being able to look over the horizon to predict the outcome. It’s this ability to predict, and then reap the rewards of a choice well made, that we’d like to focus on here. Ten years ago, The 145 launched an aviation maintenance award designed to recognize the industry’s very best component repair facilities. The goal was to bring attention to

companies that strive to deliver superior customer support, quick turn-around-times, superior workmanship and innovating repair processes. At the time, we had no idea just how popular or famous the awards would become, we were just focused on the present. Fast forward a decade later, and the Top Shop Awards is one of the most coveted aviation maintenance awards in the world. With over two hundred awards presented over the years, in as many as twenty-two categories, the annual awards are now an industry event that aviation professionals look forward to year after year.

Predict the outcome Being a Top Shop doesn’t come down to luck, it’s the result of adhering to specific principles of success, i.e.: superior customer service, competitive TATs, competitive pricing, repair innovation and more. That said there are a lot

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of companies in our industry that operate their businesses using the highest maintenance standards and business practices in the industry, but it’s the ones that see opportunities (like the chance to become a Top Shop in 2019) that sets them apart from the rest. There’s no way to guarantee your company will be selected as a Top Shop, but you can significantly increase your chances by taking a few simple steps:

1. Download the VOTE FOR US button The more exposure you can get the better. Take time to download the “Vote for Us” link and install it in your emails and on your website. The easier you make it for your customers to vote for you, the better your chances. To download the “Vote for Us” link click here: www.topshopawards.com.

2. Send out an email Take a minute to send out a simple email reminding and encouraging your customers to submit nominations for their favorite shops. 3. Educate you staff Remind your customer service and sales support staff to make a plug for the Top Shop Awards. For example, they might say to a customer: “If you like using our shop, please be sure to nominate us for a 145 Top Shop Award. Go to www.topshopawards.com to post your nomination.” You’d be surprised how willing customers are to vote for you, especially when you’ve gone above and beyond to help them.

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145 Magazine

THE VENUE Shifting gears, let’s talk a bit about next year’s venue. Every year since 2008 has been a great year to be a Top Shop, BUT, 2019 is going to be especially great because of some major upgrades and changes to the awards. For the upcoming awards The 145 will host an MRO Americas preshow event at TOPGOLF in Midtown Atlanta. This is going to be an extraordinary event with over 274 attendees gathered together the night before the MRO Americas to celebrate, share, gossip, network, advertise, eat, drink and - time permitting - play golf. Each winning company will be given a private bay and 12 invitations for VIP guests. Corporate sponsorship opportunities will also be available to all participating companies via television monitors and table top displays.


VIDEO AND PHOTGRAPHY During the event a professional videographer and photographer will be onsite walking around documenting the event, interviewing winners, taking shots of company sponsorships, and people enjoying themselves at TOPGOLF. The following day the same videographer and photographer will continue conducting personalized interviews and award presentations at the MRO Americas exhibition. Once completed, a cinema quality video will be developed and made available via The 145 website, Top Shop Awards website, 145 Magazine, The 145 Newsletter and directly on each winners’ own company website if so desired. LAST DAY FOR NOMINATIONS December 31, 2018 will be the last day of the year and the last day to submit nominations for the Top Shop Awards. So, mark your calendars, download the Vote for Us button and encourage your customers to vote. If ever there was a year to be a Top Shop, 2019 is it.

                   

         

      


B E G I N N I N G I N T H E

“I HITCH HIKED DOWN I-95 FROM FT. LAUNDERDALE TO MIAMI, WASHED UP IN THE AIRPORT REST ROOMS, AND NAILED THE INTERVIEW FOR A PIEDMONT TICKET AGENT.”

CEO PROFILE

BILL UTSET

MEKCO GROUP Bill was excited to be part of the Industry. Unfortunately, four months later he was laid off, but was hired on his last day by Air Florida. It was

BILL UTSET

ME KCO G R OUP

here that he really learned the industry. Bill said, “’The Little Airline That Could’ opened several doors for me which expanded my knowledge beyond baggage and tickets. I worked in Flight Control, Regional Aircraft, or Commuter Aircraft, as they were called, and Gate Departures.” He worked at Air Florida for 3 years and then Caribbean

As we look at any polished President or CEO of a company we see success

Express (a 2 aircraft company) for a number of years, learning more and

and drive, however, we don’t always get to peer into the past and see the

more at each location.

bumps along the way. Bill Utset (CEO of MEKCO Group) has a wonderful story to tell of successes and failures along the way to allow him to be where

The next stop along the way was Gull Air, based out of West Palm Beach,

he is today. We asked Bill for a moment of his time to hear his story.

FL. Bill was hired to run the operations and eventually became the Director of Stations, overseeing 12-15 locations and 100 employees on

Bill’s career began as a baggage loader for Piedmont Airlines at Newark

the Eastern Seaboard and Bahamas. Gull Air was closed by the owner

Airport as a part time job for gas money, but quickly developed into a love

over a difference of opinion. The owner, Bob Welch, felt that a man’s

for the industry. During college and after spending several spring breaks in

word was his contract and felt that integrity was essential in business,

Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, Bill requested his old manager at Newark to

whereas others did not feel this way. Bill learned a lot from Bob Welch.

“put in a good word for me” as he decided to stay in South Florida.

He commented, “[Bob was] one of my first mentors, aside from my

His goal was to work at the Ft. Lauderdale Airport. His manager told him to

father. He held his integrity and handshake to the highest standards.

“forget FLL” and head down to Miami and he would get Bill an interview.

He was known to walk away from major deals because he had given

As Bill noted, “I hitch hiked down I-95 from Ft. Lauderdale to Miami, washed

his word on one thing or another and the buyer would not uphold the

up in the airport rest rooms, and nailed the interview for a Piedmont

agreement. The first word in our tagline [for MEKCO], ‘Integrity. Loyalty.

Ticket Agent.”

Experience’ is a nod to his mentorship of me during my younger years.”

www.mekcogroupaviation.com 11


take a closer

look right

to see if you’re doing it

Aviation is all about quality and attention to detail. It is important to look the part: professional, customer-friendly, clear and focused. But is your business looking as good as it should? Do your website, your logo, your flyers really tell the story of who you are and how professional you are? Maybe it’s time for an upgrade. With Look Right, the branding experts for the aviation MRO industry, you’ll look like the true expert you are in no time. Drop us a line and find out how we can upgrade your company to a whole new level: www.lookright.tw


Featuring MEKCO Group I N T E G R I T Y . LO YA LT Y . E X P E R I E N C E . With the closing of Gull Air, Bill was left jobless once again.

Through various mergers and buyouts, Avicom International ended up as Rockwell Collins.

In 1986 he answered a small newspaper ad that said, “Some

In 2007 Bill ventured out into what he thought was the next best thing.

airline experience helpful.” He started as the Miami

Portable Handheld Devices. The devices were placed in Hertz rental cars filled with hours and

Supervisor for Avicom International, the pioneer company

hours of Nickelodeon content. It seemed like a no-brainer to Bill that this idea would explode.

of In Flight Entertainment. Bill was one of two people

However, the economy had different ideas in 2008 and a majority of his devices were left sitting

providing on board service for Pan Am Airlines, dropping off

on shelves. It was time for Plan B.

pneumatic headsets, which were hollow plastic tubes that

As Bill says, “You always have to have a Plan B.” Around this same time Rockwell Collins closed

plugged in to armrest of the aircraft seat through which the

the Miami facility into which Bill had poured his heart and soul. With so many displaced em-

sound traveled. The collapse of Pan Am was an opportunity

ployees, Plan B involved establishing a repair facility with many loyal, experienced employees.

for Bill. He grew the company from “two guys in a van to a

With this, MEKCO was formed. The idea for the name came from the first letters of his three

24/7/365 operation with over 125 employees in a 25,000

daughters, MEK Company.

Ai C Co a rcr In nn bin aft no ec & va tiv tio ity ns

square foot FAA facility.”

From two guys in a van to a 24/7 operation with 125 employees.

13


Reaching higher With an installed base of more than 30,000 engine controls, groundbreaking flight and pilot controls, cabin systems, and dedicated service and support to more than 300 airlines, providing the products and support that help make air travel better is what really matters.

baesystems.com/commercialsupport


Aircraft Cabin & Connectivity Innovations

MEKCO I N T E G R I T Y . LO YA LT Y . E X P E R I E N C E .

What Does MEKCO Group Do? We bring over 30 years of experience with in-flight entertainment equipment repairs and service. MEKCO Group is a global leader providing

MEKCO started out focused on repairing IFE

This modification reduces operating and

professional and experienced Cabin

equipment. As sales started to decline due

maintenance costs for airlines on IFE

& Galley equipment repairs, In Flight

to aircraft retirement, the company focus

systems. When asked why they would make

Entertainment (IFE) & IFEC systems, Ovens,

shifted to explore other options of revenue,

this modification when it would appear to cut

Coffee Makers, Smoke Detectors,

primarily cabin/galley electronics and aircraft

into potential revenue, Bill said, “Integrity.

Flush Controls, Exterior Lights and aircraft

lights. In order to meet the needs of

I think back to what would Bob Welch do?

plastic and composite repairs. As experts

customers operating with older IFE systems,

If we know there is a better way, a better

with over 30 years of In Flight Entertainment,

MEKCO partnered with a company that

system, we will advise the customer and tell

MEKCO offer their customers plug

replaces older equipment without any

them how it will benefit them. We want to

& play Digital Media Reproducers (DMR)

modification to the aircraft.

provide a better service and a better product

and Digital Audio Programmers (PRAM).

to our customers that will benefit them.”

With the newest addition of Aircraft Wireless Streaming Systems MEKCO also provides WiFi and connectivity to aircraft previously not capable of having WiFi due to weight and installation restrictions.

MEKCO GROUP

We understand that INTEGRITY, LOYALTY, and EXPERIENCE are the foundation for good business and we’re committed to using these three core principles in everything we do.

15


The Journey

MEKCO GROUP Established in 2008 and headquartered in Miami, Florida, MEKCO Group is an FAA and EASA repair facility that specializes in maintenance, repair, overhaul and exchange of in-flight entertainment and

PARTNERSHIP MEKCO Partnership with SATTO

connectivity, cabin and galley equipment solutions along with a wide range of plastic and composite repairs. The team of highly skilled technicians at MEKCO has over 50 years of combined electrical repair experience. Our

In April 2018 MEKCO announced a partnership with SATTO, launching the SATTO Repair

commitment to excellence and quality

Center USA out of the MEKCO facility in Miami. The SATTO product is used to make plastic

repairs offers timely delivery,

and composite repairs in the cabin, reducing the cost and lead time for the repair, The

professional technical service,

repair process is already FAA and EASA approved. With the partnership between MEKCO

traceable approved parts, and detailed

and SATTO, the two companies will be able to compliment their services to individual customers with lower costs and turn around times for the repairs. With as much plastic as there is inside an aircraft, this will be a major savings for the airlines.

repair documentation with customized support. We can provide you with an alternative to costly OEM repairs and assist with product obsolescence issues, saving you both time and money.

Life Lessons Bill sees himself as a fairly grounded guy. Bill said, “I value friendships. I still speak with my best friend from 2nd grade on a regular basis even though we are miles apart. I realized that after 15 years of traveling 100,000 miles per year, I missed my oldest daughter growing up. I wasn’t going to repeat that mistake again with the other 2 daughters.” His philosophy on life and work is to respect everyone, hold to your values and don’t expect anything that hasn’t been earned. As for family, Bill says, “friends may come and go, family will always be there , so you need to be there for them.” Bill always ends the night by kissing his family because you never know when your last day will be. Outside of work and home life, Bill can be found blazing trails with a chain saw out in the North Carolina wilderness, making up new and fun games and adventures. Life has been one adventure after another, but Bill’s wealth can be seen in his family and quality employees. Bill definitely leads by example.

Friends may come and go, but family will always be there.” 16


NAME THAT AIPORT WHICH AIRPORT: - Was the highest publicly used airport until 2013? - Is a 2 ½ hour drive to nearest city? - Reminds landing passengers to move slowly due to the high elevation? - Has the longest publicly used runway in the world? Answer: Qamdo Bamda Airport

China. As passengers arrive at the Qamdo Bamda Airport, they are reminded not to overexert themselves as the air contains about half the oxygen as compared to sea level. Another way the airport was modified due to its location is that it has an extended runway as a result of decreased air pressure. The airport has one runway, measuring 18,045 feet long (5,500 m), or roughly 3.4 miles, making it the longest publicly used runway in the world.

Located in the village of Bamda, in the Tibet Autonomous Region of China, the Qamdo Bamba Airport (known as Changdu Bangda in Chinese) sits at an elevation of 14,219 feet above sea level (4,334 m). Because of the uneven terrain, the airport is a 2 ½ hour drive through country roads to reach the city of Qamdo (population 650,000), which is a metropolitan hub where the Lancang River forms, eventually becoming the Mekong River which runs through southeast Asia.

Air travel continues to make isolated areas throughout the world more accessible, as is the case in the Qamdo Bamda region, which will continue to open up areas thought unreachable just a generation before.

The airport was built on one of the very few flat areas in the region. At an elevation of over 14,000 feet, it was highest civilian airport in the world until the Daocheng Yading Airport was constructed in 2013 in western 18

145 Magazine


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Fort Lauderdale, FL 33311 info@PowerAA.com

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THE SKY’S NOT THE LIMIT A

s we mourn the passing of Paul Allen, who co-founded Microsoft with Bill Gates, we wanted to take a look at one of his other projects that was in the works – Stratolaunch.

500,000 pounds (226,000 kg). In the middle of the aircraft is an attachment point for any of several different kinds of rockets, attached with whatever is being delivered to Earth’s orbit.

The idea behind Stratolaunch was not a novel idea, however, as their website (www.stratolaunch.com) notes, “Paul Allen founded Stratolaunch to get game-changing ideas off the ground by making space launch more reliable, affordable and accessible than ever before. From uncovering better climate data to protecting endangered species to solving humanitarian challenges, the potential benefits of data collected from satellites are world-altering.”

Elon Musk, CEO of SpaceX, doesn’t necessarily see Stratolaunch as being an advantage in delivering cargo to the Earth’s orbit. When asked if launching from a plane at 35,000 feet would add up to a meaningful improvement in payload to orbit, he said, “The answer is no, it does not, unfortunately. It's quite a small improvement. It's maybe a 5% improvement in payload to orbit...and then you've got this humungous plane to deal with, which is just like having a stage. From SpaceX's standpoint, would it make more sense to have a gigantic plane or to increase the size of the first stage by five percent? I'll take option two.”

The premise behind the company was to build the largest plane ever built and use it essentially as a launchpad for rockets from an altitude of 35,000 feet (10,668 m). By flying up to that altitude, the Stratolaunch aircraft would bypass not only most inclement weather, but also a number of atmospheric stressors caused by the increased air pressure at sea level. The original Stratolaunch aircraft completed a 40-mph taxiing stage earlier this year but has yet to leave the ground. The aircraft looks like two airplanes merged into one, complete with six Boeing 747 engines. From wingtip to wingtip it measures 385 feet (117 m) and can lift over

Perhaps in the future both options will work equally well for different specific jobs. What is certain is that we are in the beginning stages of a different space race, with many different players in the market. As Paul Allen’s Stratolaunch continues to take shape it will be interesting to see in what ways they work to shape the industry. Maybe we will see a further melding of the aircraft industry and the space travel industry. One thing is certain – these are exciting times in which to live.

145 Magazine


Aircraft Trends – Predictive Maintenance W

hen Horatio Jackson made the first across the United States car trip in 1903 he brought along Sewall Crocker as his maintenance man. Whenever something broke, Crocker was there to fix it, to allow the car to continue running. Nowadays, cars function better when they receive scheduled maintenance instead of waiting for a problem to occur and then fixing it. The same has been true for aircraft for decades. But, imagine being able to record continuous data on aircraft components that typically fail over time and predict when they are about to fail. With this information, failure could be reduced, as well as downtime. Predictive maintenance is not science fiction. The ability to monitor aircraft in real-time and predict failure before it occurs is a recent trend developing throughout the industry. Every year airlines lose billions of dollars from cancellations and unplanned maintenance, as well as the frustration caused to customers when a flight is cancelled or delayed. To streamline the maintenance process, companies like GE have begun creating what’s called a digital twin. How a digital twin works is that it is a virtual replica of a physical part, like an aircraft engine, which can display or predict how the engine is running to engineers on the ground while the aircraft is still in the air. The digital twin

can predict wear and tear over time, as well as stress put on various pieces of the whole part. In 2014, GE began a case study using predictive maintenance to measure stress on landing gear. Their identified problem was that landing gear issues are hard to identify until the plane has actually pushed away from the gate. This creates delays and can have a cascading effect if the delay happens early in the day. Their proposition was to monitor landing gear by identifying problem areas, cover the areas with sensors, record stress and strain data, and use this data to create a digital twin of the aircraft landing gear. As GE noted, “This digital twin models one asset instance and is continuously updated. With this digital twin, current issues can be diagnosed and the remaining useful life can be predicted based on historical data.” (GE Predix Case Study)

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One thing is for certain, the ability to analyze real-time data on an aircraft will save time and money and result in more efficient operation.

The use of predictive maintenance has been integrated into other industries in the past with positive results. According to an Oliver Wyman report, the introduction of predictive maintenance in Singapore reduced train breakdowns from 3.3 to 1.3 per 100,000 train-km between 2012 and 2014. Along with GE, Lufthansa Technik has also been at the forefront in Predictive Maintenance. Dr. Christian Langer noted, “We capture live data from more than 600 aircraft every second and try to generate predictive maintenance out of it. We want to predict when failures occur. We want to give the technical directors a better overview of their fleet: What is the technical status, what is going to happen in the future? Our customers are saving money.� One problem with the use of real-time monitoring and predictive maintenance is the vast amounts of data collected. Storing and analyzing vast quantities of data can overwhelm IT systems. However, companies looking to integrate predictive maintenance can either upgrade their in-house data storage abilities or implement cloud storage options. Either way, the ability to predict wear and tear and identify problem areas will streamline the maintenance process.

Unlike Horatio Jackson and Sewall Crocker’s car trip, waiting until an aircraft part breaks to fix it does not work in this industry. Costs can be kept down by anticipating failure and servicing the part. One thing is for certain, the ability to analyze real-time data on an aircraft will save time and money and result in more efficient operation.

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AVIATION HISTORY

AVIATION HISTORY A

s we look at the world around us, we see constant change. Innovations that seemed to be impossible 10 or 20 years ago are now commonplace. Recently we have seen an explosion in driverless or pilotless vehicles, for good or for bad. This month we wanted to take a look at one of the first unmanned vehicles, which made its appearance on the worlds stage 100 years ago this month. Sometime during World War One, the United States Army aircraft board approached Charles Kettering with the idea to build a “flying bomb.” Some of the big names of the day assisted Kettering on the project, primarily Orville Wright to assist with general flight issues, and Elmer Ambrose Sperry, famous for the gyroscope, to work on control and guidance.

On October 2, 1918 the Kettering Bug was tested without success. Subsequent tests yielded a 25-33% success rate, which didn’t make it a very promising prospect. Apparently, the Army wasn’t too keen on an inconsistent explosive being fired over Allied Troops. The Bug was relegated to obscurity, as was the Curtiss-Sperry Flying Bomb, another model designed around the same time, however, the idea behind it became the inspiration for modern day missiles. Today we can input a location and have a car drive for us with a fairly high degree of success, but innovation always has to start somewhere. The Kettering Bug, tested 100 years ago, was one of those innovations that worked to change the world.

The device was later referred to as the “Kettering Bug” which had a softer ring to it than the “flying bomb.” The Bug was equipped with a 4 cylindar, 40 horsepower engine, which was mass-produced by the Ford Motor Company. The fuselage was made from wood laminate and papier-mâché and the wings were made from cardboard. All in all, the Bug could fly at 50 mph (80 km/h) and cost roughly $400. How exactly did the Kettering Bug fly to its target? Launched from a dolly-and-track system, an internal gyroscope guided the aircraft to its target. The control system worked through the use of a pneumatic/vacu-um system, an electric system, and an aneroid barom-eter/altimeter. For someone to “tell” the Bug where to fly, technicians had to determine the distance needed to travel, taking into account the wind speed and direc-tion. These calculations gave the technicians the total number of engine revolutions needed to hit the target. When the total revolutions reached the determined value, the engine would shut off, a bolt in the wings would retract, and the wings and “bomb” would separate. 145 Magazine

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Profile for 145 Magazine

145 Magazine, Vol. 5 Issue 6, December Issue  

145 is a lifestyle magazine dedicated to people in the aviation industry.

145 Magazine, Vol. 5 Issue 6, December Issue  

145 is a lifestyle magazine dedicated to people in the aviation industry.

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