Watching Richard Branson fly to the edge of space today was great to see. The reality is that it took nearly 17 years from Spaceship One's team winning the Ansari XPrize & demoing the technology to this flight. Burt Rutan and Paul Allen deserve a ton of credit for this... 1/X
I was told the Spaceship One program cost well over 10X the award amount. Rutan's design was so good it is used today largely in scaled fashion. But repeating Spaceship One's feat in a commercial manner would take many $ millions more and even lives. Branson stuck with it...
, although there were changes, but when it came to doing what he does best, being the ultimate promo guy, he put his own ass in the ship. I think that is highly commendable even though many blow it off as just billionaires trying to show each other up...
That may be true to some degree, but that does not mitigate the risk. And above all else, he played the part of the space tourist and will use all his notes to improve the experience for paying customers. He knows how to master customer experience and branding above all else.
In an interview after the historic flight, he mentioned he had dozens of notes on this—how to make the flight better for customers. Once again, top guy in the world on this, so his ride is not some fucking vanity project. It will improve the viability and quality...
of the experience when it needs it most—during its first impression phase. This is a luxury business. It isn't paying to go on a Russian spaceflight mission. It needs to be amazing end-to-end to get the volume of riders up and the cost down. The industry hangs on this.
So, while the flight was great to see, I am very interested on how the experience will be packaged going forward and how the business case gets stabilized. In the end, people can criticize the billionaire space race all they want. But at least he isn't some CEO sitting...
In his office surrounded only by kiss asses in the executive suite reading reports on what the little people below him are doing for his companies day in and day out. He is out there, experiencing the product, promoting it, in this case, doing so at risk of life and limb.
I think that is commendable.

• • •

Missing some Tweet in this thread? You can try to force a refresh

Keep Current with Tyler Rogoway

Tyler Rogoway Profile picture

Stay in touch and get notified when new unrolls are available from this author!

Read all threads

This Thread may be Removed Anytime!


Twitter may remove this content at anytime! Save it as PDF for later use!

Try unrolling a thread yourself!

how to unroll video
  1. Follow @ThreadReaderApp to mention us!

  2. From a Twitter thread mention us with a keyword "unroll"
@threadreaderapp unroll

Practice here first or read more on our help page!

More from @Aviation_Intel

7 Jul
On the B-21's windows, for years I have had numerous discussions with people about the possibility that there would be no windows at all. Next-generation display or HMD/AR tech used instead, thus enhancing its low observable capabilities and not having to deal... 1.X
with troublesome large windscreens that need to have LO properties. See the X-59 for instance (linked). The B-21's optionally manned capability could also reduce some risk here as well, as it would be able to complete even terminal operations itself... 1/X…
But I really don't see this being probable with the B-21 for technological and cultural reasons. Look at the issues with KC-46's remote vision system and taking out the visibility really pushes also taking the pilot out as well, which the USAF is notoriously averse to... 1/X
Read 9 tweets
27 Apr
23 years ago the Dragon Drone was being used in urban warfare tests at Camp Lejeune. The delta flying wing design, which offers high endurance and simplicity, remains a very popular configuration for drones over two decades later, especially among adversaries.
The planform for RPAs/UAVs goes way back. For instance, here is a Star Mini being launched at NAF El Centro in 1977!:
Fast forward to today, & Iran & Israel, in particular, make great use of the delta planfrom with their suicide drones. Israel largely pioneered the concept decades ago. Small gasoline engines offer high endurance & are cheap. The sound is also terrifying:
Read 5 tweets
11 Jan
Let me take a stab at this after years of reporting on Marine One, HMX-1, Continuity of Government, etc. None of this is definitive, but it could help explain what folks are seeing:

1.) HMX-1, which flies the VH-3D and VH-60N 'White Top' helicopters used to move... 1/X
the President and VP around, those helos being called Marine One or Two when either is onboard, need to train. The urban landing zones, including WH and VP Residence, are not simple to get in and out of. So, crews need some currency training. They are not just tasked with... 2/X
moving POTUS and VP to get them around the region and to Andrews AFB for long-haul flights, they are essential to Continuity of Government operations. This means that if a threat were to emerge, they need to be ready to snatch POTUS and VP in minutes. This is partially... 3/X
Read 9 tweets
25 Dec 20
Lots of people talking about some sort of impending kinetic operation over Iraq due to OSINT. Considering what is happening there, especially today's news, an increase of on-call strike aircraft, and especially ISR/networking aircraft, & tanker support, would not be unexpected.1/
This does not mean an operation is about to kick-off, although it's always possible. It does mean that coalition forces want to get a leg up on any possible hostile action & be ready to detect, fix, and kill a threat before it manifests itself fully or quickly after as well as 2/
being in a place to deter & respond to a major hostile action, especially by Iran. Not having to be in a fully reactionary, long-lead posture is precisely one of the reasons so much airpower is stacked in that region at any given time. You want it up, watching & ready 3/
Read 8 tweets
16 Sep 20
I think people are looking at this NGAD demonstrator a little differently than they should. Technology demonstrators are used to reduce risk and prove various technologies so that they can be incorporated into an operational system down the line. This can include everything 1/X
from sensor systems to propulsion systems to aerodynamic shaping and production methods. Often times, multiple aspects can be rolled into a single demonstrator. We have examples of this, like Have Blue, Tacit Blue, Bird of Prey etc but the reality is that far far more...
Technology demonstrators have existed than we really can imagine. They are built for limited flight time and in some cases in a rapid iteration series. There are dozens of highly classified programs ongoing out A51 and elsewhere at any given time, some do not involve...
Read 14 tweets
16 Aug 20
Love how half of this episode of Unidentified was based on all my & my team’s painstaking research without 1 bit of credit. Would i do their show when asked? No, i don’t do UFO shows, but jesus at least mention where all that came from. Sickening. Couldn’t believe what I watched
I mean don’t credit us, fuck us right, but don’t credit it to anyone willing to do interviews. That’s so fucked up.
there is so much fucked up about this show, so many inaccuracies. I said fuck it, let them do their thing, but it’s flagrant. At the end of this episode they blow off electronic warfare & spoofing & then literally describe NEMESIS, but don’t know that’s a real program....
Read 9 tweets

Did Thread Reader help you today?

Support us! We are indie developers!

This site is made by just two indie developers on a laptop doing marketing, support and development! Read more about the story.

Become a Premium Member ($3/month or $30/year) and get exclusive features!

Become Premium

Too expensive? Make a small donation by buying us coffee ($5) or help with server cost ($10)

Donate via Paypal Become our Patreon

Thank you for your support!

Follow Us on Twitter!