The FAA is looking to hire a new manager in its Rotorcraft Directorate to assess and identify emerging technologies and developing strategic plans for addressing the rulemaking, policy and research issues their emergence raises.
The Emerging Technology Program Manager would work on the Rotorcraft Standards Staff of the Fort Worth, Texas-based directorate’s Regulations and Policy Group. The agency through mid-August had been advertising for an individual with expertise in an engineering field (such as structures, propulsion, mechanical, electrical, software, flight test, etc.) to fill the new position.
The manager would work with industry groups, companies and FAA Aircraft Certification Offices “to continually assess the need for rulemaking, certification guidance and policy and research to address the application of new technology to rotorcraft,” according to the agency’s job posting.
The manager also would participate in industry standards committees, a key role since the agency’s recent rewrite of Part 23 (for small airplanes) suggests a move toward more general regulations that rely on details in consensus standards such as those developed by ASTM and SAE.
Breathing New Life Into AHS in DC
The American Helicopter Society International’s chapter in Washington opened its new meeting season last month with the launch of a campaign to breathe new life into the outfit.
The Federal City Chapter hosted a buffet dinner and a panel discussion on “The Future of VTOL: Innovation and the DOD” at Airbus Group’s “Experience Center” on Pennsylvania Avenue, about five blocks from the White House. The chapter had long held its dinner meetings monthly from September through June across the Potomac River, at venues near the Pentagon. The gatherings were informative and (at times) enlightening, with lone speakers updating AHS members and guests on R&D or fielded rotorcraft programs. The talks generally focused on military programs.
But attendance had dropped off in recent years and, while they drew some impressive speakers, the meetings at times felt like choir members preaching to each other.
Under its new president, Airbus Group VP of Corporate Development Joe Mudd, the Federal City Chapter is shifting to quarterly meetings at which a panel of speakers addresses a single theme. The chapter also aims to broaden discussions about the challenges facing the vertical flight industry. Last month’s attendees included an aerospace and defense strategic and financial advisor, the managing director of a technology incubator firm and a number of advanced technology specialists, in addition to the “usual suspects” — lobbyists, business development folks and officials of rotorcraft-related programs. One of the speakers was NASA’s chief technologist for “on-demand mobility,” Mark Moore, who told attendees that Silicon Valley billionaires will drive the development of new vertical-flight aircraft that look, act and sound nothing like helicopters.
“They’ve got the spirit from back in the 1950s,” said Moore, who also was a featured speaker at R&WI’s Sept. 19 to 20 Rotorcraft Technology Summit in Fort Worth, Texas. He summarized that spirit of innovation this way: “Just go out and do it. Fail quickly and fail often.”
Officials Break Ground on National US Army Museum
Top Army leaders broke ground Sept. 14 at Fort Belvoir, Virginia, for the National Museum of the U.S. Army, which the service’s chief of staff, Gen. Mark Milley, called “a tribute to those 30 million soldiers who’ve worn this distinguished uniform, and their loved ones who supported them.” Due to open in 2019, the 185,000-sq-ft facility will house more than 15,000 pieces of art and 30,000 artifacts, including weapons, uniforms, equipment and letters from soldiers at war. R&WI