A Brief History of Aviation Airplanes

Aviation has been the most vital mode of transportation in these modern times. It plays an important part in the economy – it creates jobs, it allows businesses to spread into other countries, and it helps other industries such as the tourism industry grow. Additionally, aviation brings people around the world together and makes stronger bonds among cultures and countries.

It is such a beneficial invention to the whole world. But as unlikely as it seems, just about two centuries ago, people thought aviation airplanes were impossible to achieve by mankind. The Wright Brothers proved them wrong.

On the 17th of December 1903, Wilbur and Orville Wright did the impossible. Covering 852 feet for 59 seconds, the Wright Brothers made the first ever successful flight in human history. This breakthrough gained the attention of governments and automotive enthusiasts around the world.

Over the next decade, the technology of aviation airplanes continued to grow in a fast pace. During this time, engineers replaced old engines with better ones. Pilots strived to reach greater heights, beating the best records in aviation as they achieved faster speeds, higher altitudes, and longer flights. For them, sky is really the limit.

Airplanes in the WWI

When World War I began, aircraft were recognized heavily as military equipment. This sparked the rise of the demand for airplanes. However, the most significant development of airplanes was during this period when the motors were upgraded. The aircraft then can soar with a speed of 130 mph, doubling the speed of pre-war airplanes.

In 1914, the airplane was tested in battle for the first time. In the minds of the many, aviation airplanes mean bombs, aerial combats, and surveillance. Moreover, when the war ended, the surplus of aircraft was so huge that building companies shut down and the demand for these aircraft went down to zero.

Airplanes were further used in military operations. In fact, these have become the primary tools in World War II, which gave birth to the term “fighter planes”. In 1937, the Germans were able to produce and test the very first jet aircraft in history. Because it did not perform how the Germans initially thought it would, it took them five years more to produce a decent-performing jet – which was too late to change the result of the World War II.

The Birth of Commercial Airlines

It was in 1976 when the commercial airline was introduced by France and Great Britain. The first commercial plane carried more than a hundred passengers with almost two times the speed of sound. This made the 3.5-hour duration of the London to New York flight, which is considerably short. However, the cost was too expensive that flights back then were for the rich and privileged only.

From 1996-1998, Russian and American aerospace companies collaborated with National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) in a research program which aimed to develop a 2nd generation supersonic aircraft.

Today, aviation airplanes flights are affordable already, and can be used for leisure or corporate travels. Airplanes are everywhere, and people take them for granted now. However, it is important to remember that this great invention was brought forth by the courage of not-so-long-ago antecedents to defy the traditional beliefs of people at that time.

Critical Airport Lease Areas for Aviation Service Providers

It may sound simple, but understanding (and managing to) the specifics of your airport lease is critical for the airport service provider. Whether you are a Fixed Base Operator (FBO), Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRO) company or an Aircraft Charter and Management (ACM) company, if you provide direct on-airport service your lease is your not only your life blood and access to your customer base, but it is also a big component of your company’s value.

Aviation service providers generally work under lease directly from the airport itself. Most leases are long term in order to afford the tenant (the aviation FBO, MRO or ACM company) the ability to achieve a return on the investment they must make to establish their business. Leases usually also confer the operating rights and restrictions under which the service provider must operate. Because they have long lives, however, and are not referred to often in the day-to-day provision of airport services, the opportunity for confusion arises and mistakes can compound for months or years until discovered and corrected. There are numerous examples of rent disputes that arose from a misunderstanding of the rent calculation only to compound for years until finally reconciled, many times with the service provider taking a material charge to their profit and loss statement.

1. Rent Calculations. Obviously, most airport tenants are deeply aware of the amount of rent they pay to the airport on a monthly basis, either for ground rent or facilities. Unlike a typical office or other facility lease, however, an airport lease may require additional variable rent payments based upon activities. There are many types and structures but common types of variable rent are fuel flowage fees, a variable rent as a percentage of gross sales, additional rent in the form of recoupment from tenants of fees and taxes an airport incurs, etc. Since these are variable they are typically paid monthly by the tenant but only reconciled annually. Because FBOs typically have the most different lines of businesses, they are especially inclined to have additional variable rent structures. Diligent management and clear communication with the airport (as well as mutually agreed upon reporting tools) are best practices for preventing an unintended consequence from building up on either side of the ledger.

2. Operating Rights & Restrictions. Airport leases typically clearly state which activities a tenant may conduct (or is required to conduct) and activities from which they are prohibited. These categories vary however, from very narrow to quite broad depending upon the intent of the airport; e.g. is the airport trying to tightly manage scarce resources or is it attempting to broadly stimulate growth and employment on the airport. In the modern hurried environment it is easy to contemplate adding a new service or product line without first determining whether that service or product is specifically allowed or prohibited under your current lease. You should always clearly understand your contractual rights and restrictions before making a commitment to a material outlay of resources, especially in the areas of time, personnel and capital.

3. Maintenance & Repair. The maintenance and repair responsibility for your facilities will largely depend on who constructed them and who now holds title to them. In some cases the facilities will be let “where is, as is” and the tenant will be responsible for all maintenance and repair. Other times there are specific levels of maintenance the airport landlord may provide (e.g. “structural”) and the tenant will be responsible for others that do not rise to this level. Open communication with the airport is again the best tool for understanding who is going to pay for the next large repair issue.

4. Lease Premises. Similar to rent, above, this appears straightforward and usually is. An older lease which has been subject to multiple amendments and assignments through multiple owners, however, may be tricky. If you purchased the lease as part of a larger aviation services business and bought title insurance at that time you should have assurance as to the exact location, size and characteristics of the leasehold. If you acquired the lease through other means such as a Request For Proposals process, you should examine the description of the premises in the lease and ensure it is consistent with your understanding and current aviation operations and activity. If there is doubt or ambiguity as to what and where the actual leasehold is, you should seek help understanding exactly what your rights are respective to the leasehold.

5. Transfer and Change of Control. This is another area which can materially affect the value of an aviation service provider’s business. Most leases require a landlord’s (airport’s) consent to transfer a lease (as an asset) via an assignment (although it is common to have exceptions for transfers to entities that are subsidiaries or controlled by the current tenant). A change of control, which occurs when a tenant conveys more than 50% of the underlying interests of the business to another individual or entity, usually also requires a similar consent. This language varies from lease to lease of course and is less common in older leases. You should review this language in your lease and determine the consequences before you begin planning to sell your business as it may have a material impact on your sale process, especially if you are selling only a part of an airport based service business. There are different strategies to use in dealing with these types of provisions, however, and the best practice is to structure your business or sale process taking these provisions into account and aligning the structure of the process to meet your end goals.

Airport leases for Fixed Base Operators (FBOs), Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRO) companies and Aircraft Charter and Management (ACM) Companies have evolved and become more complex, especially at larger airports, and the aviation infrastructure required to perform these services continues to become more expensive. To maximize your return as an operator, you have to have a complete understanding of one of your most important governing documents, your airport lease.

Animals and Birds Use Retinal Jitter Strategies To Focus – Should Drones Use A Similar Technique

Have you ever wondered how you can walk or jog, with your head bouncing up and down, while still focusing on an object either nearby or far away? Have you noticed how you can do the same and judge distance, speed of object, and minute details of that object quickly and accurately? Well, the reason you can do this so well is how the mind using frame bursting of images from your memory, and retinal jitter to help you quickly fill in the details, meanwhile your visual cortex fills in the blanks – all this happening in micro-seconds using a brain that is barely drawing 20-watts of power. Wow, talk about a state-of-the-art organic design and technology – impressive my fellow human.

Of course, some animals and birds do this even better than we do, with much smaller brains. Consider if you will an owl, hawk, or bald-eagle. The phrase “Eagle Eyes” is apropos here, think about it. Using biomimicry strategies perhaps we can make our UAV (unmanned aerial vehicle) or drone video imaging more powerful and acute – and in doing so, consider for a moment the number of applications this will affect? How are we doing so far with these concepts? Well, 3-axis gimbals are the most sought by small drone owners, but why have a 3-axis if you can make a 4,5,or 6-axis gyro stabilization gimbal for better video resolution and accuracy. That would certainly assist in stabilizing the video camera, so too do quad copter designs which are quite stable even in moderate turbulence.

Let’s talk about strategies for a moment – to get to that eagle eye ability we see in nature. One patent, “Apparatus and methods for stabilization and vibration reduction,” US 9277130 B2, duly states: “Currently, there exists primarily four methods of vibration dampening commonly employed in photography and videography to reduce the effects of vibration on the picture: software stabilization, lens stabilization, sensor stabilization, and overall shooting equipment stabilization.”

What if we also work with visual recognition systems for frame bursting, only focusing on things that meet our mission criteria, “OR” are complete anomalies (out of place). In a human mind, things out of place often trigger the N400 brain wave, evoking curiosity, nuance, or interest. We can program the same using algorithms requiring the video camera to; investigate, identify and act. Or, as Colonel Boyd’s “OODA Loop Strategy” suggests: Observe, Orient, Decide, and Act. And the fighter pilot who can do that quickest should win the aerial dog-fight provided they make good use of their energy and air-speed. Good advice, even if we borrow it to discuss how best to program a UAS (unmanned aerial system) to complete a task or mission.

In one paper ” Model-based video stabilization for micro aerial vehicles in real-time,” the abstract states; “The emerging branch of Micro aerial vehicles (MAVs) has attracted a great interest for their indoor navigation capabilities, but they require a high quality video for tele-operated or autonomous tasks. A common problem of on-board video quality is the effect of undesired movement, and there are different approaches for solving it with mechanical stabilizers or video stabilizer software. Very few video stabilizer software can be applied in real-time and their algorithms do not consider intentional movements of the tele-operator.”

Indeed, this is the problem and it is a real one if we ever hope to send drones out to do autonomous missions, whether delivering a package or work as a flying security guard for let’s say a commercial construction site.

That paper goes on to suggest a way to solve some of these challenges, namely: “A novel technique is introduced for real-time video stabilization with low computational cost, without generating false movements or decreasing the performance. Our proposal uses a combination of geometric transformations and outliers rejection to obtain a robust inter-frame motion estimation, and a Kalman Filter based on a dynamic model.”

Now then, although there are folks working on these things, it is obvious that until the sensors, imaging and equipment get better at such tasks, we will not fulfill the desire to allow drones to do work autonomously in a safe and efficient manner garnering the benefits we expect of these technologies in the future. I hope you will consider my thoughts here and some of my recommendations to borrow strategies from nature to accomplish such goals.

Cites:

A.) “Vision-Based Detection and Distance Estimation of Micro Unmanned Aerial Vehicles,” by Fatih Gokce, Gokturk Ucoluk, Erol Sahin and Sinan Kalkan. Sensors 2015, 15(9), 23805-23846; doi: 10.3390/s150923805
B.) Thesis: “Accelerated Object Tracking with Local Binary Features,” by Breton Lawrence Minnehan of Rochester School of Technology; July 2014.
C.) “Model-based video stabilization for micro aerial vehicles in real-time,” by Wilbert G Aguilar and Cecilio Angulo.
D.) “Real time Megapixel Multispectral Bioimaging,” by Jason M. Eichenholz, Nick Barnetta, Yishung Juanga, Dave Fishb, Steve Spanoc, Erik Lindsleyd, and Daniel L. Farkasd.
E.) “Enhanced Tracking System Based on Micro Inertial Measurements Unit to Measure Sensorimotor Responses in Pigeons,” by Noor Aldoumani, Turgut Meydan, Christopher M Dillingham, and Jonathan T Erichsen.