2030, some drone industry predictions for the next 10 years.

Those who have knowledge, don’t predict. Those who predict, don’t have knowledge. “

–Lao Tzu, 6th Century BC Chinese Poet

When sUAS News started being turned into a thing, Patrick and I, batted back and forth, mostly on RC Groups USAF predictions for 2047, the road map to ubiquitous UAS, or UAVs as they were still called back then

It is astonishing that the FAA still seem to be using the same plan!

sUAS News was founded to focus on the small stuff because before I bought the domain you could already see that the money was going to be made with low weight, low-risk machines. It was also what all my friends were building and flying.

Just as the motor and oil industry deliberately killed high-speed rail in the USA after the second world war the sUAS world has powerful enemies in the manned aviation world. Manufacturers, pilots, and air traffic control. All of them are manipulating regulators for their own ends and some in regulation are looking for their off-ramps.

My first prediction for the next 10 years.

They will all get out of the way or stop being a thing.

Legacy manufacturers of large platforms that benefited from sandy wars are not agile enough to move with grassroots innovation.

By the time the required meetings with snacks and focus groups are over at Big Co, the drone developer gang has moved on to better things and Big Co is out of date before launch.

Look at separate lift thrust and tail sitter advances in the last five years. All the innovation and testing came from the community not legacy vendors. 

AeroVironment, Airbus, Boeing, Bell, and Rolls Royce, NASA, and many more have all leveraged open-source flight controllers and software in the last three years for some very big projects. None of those companies have teams of autopilot developers operating 24 hours a day around the world. Once they get a thing flying they can close it off and bring it in house.

Every AAM/UAM offering uses Opensource controllers in their development.

I didn’t think Opensource, even Ardupilot would be as competitive or useful ten years ago. I didn’t have the vision. 

Pilot groups are facing a world of hurt from the current Covid situation and try as they might pushing an ATPL into an RPAS position is a square peg into a round hole. Pilots do not

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