2020 AIAA AVIATION Forum


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AIAA AVIATION Forum Day 3 Summary - What Did You Miss?

  • 1.  AIAA AVIATION Forum Day 3 Summary - What Did You Miss?

    Posted 17 Jun, 2020 16:28
    AIAA AVIATION FORUM – Day 3 (June 17, 2020)
    Forum Theme: We Get You Here, There and Now Everywhere
    Day 3 Theme: Faster!

    Today's theme was "Faster!" And we could not have heard a more inspirational message about supersonic fight to start the day. Tom Vice, the Chairman, President, and CEO of Aerion Corp. gave a most compelling, authoritative, and concise message about the future of supersonic flight. While there are always hurdles in getting to first flight and then to entry-into-service, if you weren't enthusiastic about the future of supersonic flight after hearing from Mr. Vice, you're likely not the excitable type. The message, from Mr. Vice and from Gene Hollowell, the Chief Sustainability Officer and Executive Vice President from Aerion who spoke during the Forum 360 "Need for Speed" Panel, was that speed and protection of the environment are not mutually exclusive. I thought back to January's AIAA SciTech Forum. There was palpable enthusiasm amongst the many students and young professionals in attendance at SciTech for an aerospace industry that focused on environmental responsibility and sustainability. The Aerion Corporate ethos as described by Mr. Vice and Mr. Hollowell was spot on with what those of us in the aerospace profession should be adopting as a sacred trust between ourselves and our stakeholders and customers. To do otherwise risks alienating a sizeable segment of our future talented workforce. And our customers.

    Day 3 Top Three Take-Aways:
    1) The aerospace industry and the government research and regulatory Agencies are putting significant effort into making supersonic flight a reality. They are focused on so much more than just the airplane. There is a strong desire to make supersonic flight viable and commonplace. To do so will require addressing the showstoppers of the past, including landing and takeoff noise, suppression of the sonic boom, ameliorating supersonic's environmental impacts, and making supersonic flight cost competitive. For this effort to succeed beyond its being a niche aviation market will require tremendous effort, resources, and support.
    2) Today, the AIAA's transformative flight community held a symposium on certification for electric aircraft and other advanced air mobility vehicles. Many of the early entrants in this area have worked with the regulators and have developed the expertise required to certify vehicles. They have moved well beyond simple awareness. The symposium demonstrated that AIAA can be a powerful convening forum to inform, improve and educate on any number of topics, specifically the certification path for electric vehicles in this case.
    3) The technologies that will be utilized by aerospace in the future are not necessarily the ones that many of us were trained for or have skills in. The nature of work is also evolving. There are hard skills and soft skills that will require attracting talent that has a passion for aerospace and to establish and implement life-long learning opportunities if the aerospace workforce of today is to creatively solve the challenges of tomorrow.

    Quote of the Day: "(In aviation) we have a preference for an evolutionary process because it fits our regulatory structure. Can we move from a pilot controlling an aircraft to a pilot managing a flight to the pilot being a passenger?" – Wes Ryan, FAA, speaking about autonomy during the Transformational Flight Certification Symposium

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    Thomas B. (Tom) Irvine
    Consultant
    TBI Aerospace Consulting LLC
    Cedar, MI
    tbirvine3@gmail.com
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