Category Archives: Vision

What to do when your industry becomes dull?

Being the dyed-in-the-wool aerospace junkie that I am, I cannot resist checking out industry news every few days.

And everytime I do, what strikes me is how terribly dull the aerospace industry seems to have become.

Almost all the news seems to consist of very minor incidents, sales announcements, and opinions aired by journalists with a deadline and an editor standing over their shoulder. When will such and such a company go under? Who’s going to win the sales race this year? Etc, etc.

The most exciting piece of news today, for example, is the collapse of the nose landing gear on an A330. (That does slightly intrigue me, having done landing gear in a past life.)

But it was a gear collapse on the ground, aircraft stationary, no one hurt. There will be an investigation, some corrective action will be taken, the incident will probably never recur, the world will have become a slightly safer place, and we can all go home.

Dull. Really dull.

Such a reaction is, of course, totally subjective.

Has it really become so dull? Or am I the dull one? Have I lost the plot?

Continue reading What to do when your industry becomes dull?

See? Meetups work! Stuff happens!

Just thought I’d do a quick follow-up to my last post, in which I was plugging the value of attending live events, like meetups.

Just last night, we had the first local event in the South West Aerospace Hackers meet-up. That’s one that I jointly kicked off, literally just a week ago, having publicized the meetup on and elsewhere, and on LinkedIn. Have already had about 20 people register, and 10 people show up, just a week.

There was a really really good buzz in the room. We met in a local watering hole. Good buzz! Lots of talk, lot of frustrations shared. People started to plot, and hatch ideas for how they can rejig, replan their own careers, but also other projects and initiatives. Lots of good stuff shared there. The next event is already scheduled for about a month away.

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Why you should like Requirements Based Engineering

Requirements-Based Engineering (RBE) is simply an exercise in two positive human qualities.

Think about it.

“The system shall do (insert action).”


“The system shall have (insert characteristic quality or detail).”

This is simply detailing to your supplier, your colleagues (and yourself) what you want.
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Look out, aerospace, Amazon and The Crowd are coming your way

Amazon’s last quarterly report announced an enhancement to Amazon Web Services (AWS) called CloudHSM.

It will be “a new service enabling customers to increase data security and meet compliance requirements.”

How long before we can design an aircraft entirely on the basis of crowd-sourcing and Amazon Web Services?

How long before we can design an airliner that way?

I’m thinking . . . . . Not long.


Mobile devices will disrupt aerospace

Check this link out. It’s Bill Gross’ assessment of the impact of mobile devices on how we live, and associated business opportunities.

I hear you ask: What on earth does this have to do with aerospace?

Well, as regards military aerospace, or general aviation, it’s not immediately obvious. Possibly not much.

But as regards commercial aerospace, the implications are huge.

It’s already possible to arrange all the significant (and many of the insignificant) details of our lives directly from a mobile phone or tablet. By the end of this decade, all the more so.

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(What follows below is a guest post by Olivia Stodiecke, a PhD student in aeroelasticity at U of Bristol, and previously a structural analyst at Airbus.)

Vision creates the spark, the excitement that lifts an organization out of the mundane. Shared vision fosters risk taking and experimentation. People know what needs to be done. Even if they don’t know how to do it, they keep experimenting till they succeed. But even when they experiment, there is no ambiguity at all. It’s perfectly clear why they are doing it.

The Fifth Discipline – Peter M Senge

(Here a link with the full first chapter of the book – worth reading: )

For me, Vision = Something to inspire us techies now and in the future; something that we can all understand and be proud to aim for; something that can shape a business strategy ( … not a list of random incomprehensible bullet points in a powerpoint presentation labelled with vision 2050  … and not a visually attractive animation taken straight out of a cheap science fiction movie)

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