What separates tech leaders from the herd is their deep understanding of what technology can achieve. After understanding the possibilities, they work their finger to the bone to achieve the desired results.
One such tech leader we at Insights Success came across is Alexander Taits, the Founder and CEO of FusionFlight.
Alex founded FusionFlight with an aim to push the frontiers of drone technology to a whole new level. His journey began in the summer of 2016 when he received the seed investment for FusionFlight to begin work on the JetQuad technology out of his garage in Dallas, TX. He encountered challenges at every step of the way.
“When developing a jet-engine powered drone, Murphy’s law is on in full effect – everything that can possibly go wrong absolutely does go wrong,” expresses Alex. He had to master embedded software programming and electrical engineering in his free time to overcome several of these hurdles. Most importantly, he had to master emotional control to deal with failure; as he puts “if you are a start-up founder finding your zen definitely comes in very handy!”
We got into conversation with Alex to know more about his entrepreneurial journey and how FusionFlight is unlocking the full potential of Microturbine Tech.
Below are the highlights of the interview:
Tell us something more about FusionFlight and its mission and vision.
The goal of FusionFlight is to unleash the full potential of microturbine technology. Microturbines are relatively new, small, football sized jet-engines, can deliver a significant amount of power in very small packages. FusionFlight aims to use these engines to bring about a revolution in how we travel through air and how we can generate electrical energy off-the-grid in compact easy-to-carry systems.
Enlighten us on how you have made an impact in the Aviation & Aerospace niche through your expertise in the market?
In the modern age, everybody who works with drones or flying vertical take-off and landing aircraft, are convinced that the only way to safely do so is with batteries and propellers. My impact to Aviation & Aerospace is to show that there is another way, by the use of liquid fuel and jet-engines. The resulting machines are cheaper, more reliable, and way faster than their electrical alternatives.
Describe in detail the values and the work culture that drives your organization.
The FusionFlight work culture is largely based on three key elements: Simplicity, Honesty and Client Satisfaction. I believe that it is incredibly easy to make complex machines and conversely it is very hard to make something simple – I strive to create the simplest machines at FusionFlight, because that means affordability and reliability. When it is time to do business, I do not beat around the bush as most would do, I value integrity and honesty to negotiate terms quickly and efficiently with business partners. Lastly, FusionFlight is a client-centric company, our clients are our blood-line, so we make sure that our products are easy to use and are versatile.
Undeniably, technology is playing a significant role in almost every sector. How are you leveraging technological advancements to make your solutions resourceful?
The microturbine is a miniaturized jet-engine that has been largely used in the hobby industry over the past two decades. However, it is a quickly evolving, nascent technology that has tremendous potential. FusionFlight is poised to take full advantage of this type of engine. We are ready to integrate all advancements in this field to ensure that FusionFlight machines will always remain competitive and cutting-edge.
If given a chance, what change would you like to bring in the Advanced Control Systems?
Most modern drone designs and off-the-shelf software is based on ordinary PID Control Theory. However, given the advancements of flight computers and microprocessors, it would be great to see more sophisticated algorithms integrated into these systems. Drones and other autonomous aircraft could potentially leverage Optimized Control Theory and Neutral Networks to become more agile, more aware, and more adaptable.
What, according to you, could be the next big change in Transportation industry? How is FusionFlight preparing to be a part of that change?
The next big change is human transportation is flight through the air with the use of vertical take-off and landing aircraft, flying cars, for short. The FusionFlight JetQuad drone could be readily scaled up to accommodate the transportation of humans in a high-speed, compact, and weather-resilient platform. It could be also used in the evacuation of injured humans from areas normally inaccessible by helicopter medevac. Lastly, for those clients that are focused on the use of propeller-based electrical aircraft, we offer the microturbine generator which allows these aircraft to take advantage of liquid fuel without affecting the overall design methodology of the aircraft.
Where do you envision yourself to be in the long run and what are your future goals for FusionFlight?
In the long run I envision myself working full-time for FusionFlight with many more engineers at a facility in Dallas. In this facility, we will be producing microturbine generators as well as JetQuad drones of various sizes, some small ones for emergency supply delivery and larger ones for transporting people through the air. In parallel, we will be producing our own engines and electronics to achieve complete vertical integration. Ultimately, I would like to obtain an IPO for FusionFlight, go public, and spin it out to become a modern Aerospace leader – at this point my time will be spent in the R&D labs working on next generation applications, notably supersonic vertical take-off and landing aircraft.
What would be your advice to budding entrepreneurs who aspire to venture into the Aerodynamics sector?
My biggest advice for budding entrepreneurs would be to treat the venture as a learning experience. Never go into your business for the money or for the fame, your focus must be the technology – it must be fun for you, and you must be passionate about it. There will be many, many failures along the way, and by accepting these failures as lessons, rather than failures, you can avoid depression, and keep the momentum rolling forward. Every time I go out to do a test, even if I fail, I repeat one important phrase in my head: “whether you succeed or fail does not mean a thing because trying IS success, realize that 99% of people don’t even try.”
Avalara Inc, one of the leading providers of cloud-based tax compliance solutions, revealed on Monday that it agreed to its...Read more