Welcome to the Wright Weekly Weport for May 21.
- Goal for this week: begin detailed ConOps, speak with airlines
- Goal from last week: decide whether to re-open the design space: achieved
- Seeking airline employee contacts
Re-Opening the Design Space Redux
we asked for your guidance on re-opening the design space. Should we jump into building or spend more time in market analysis?
You weporters wrote back with brilliant suggestions. Thank you so much!
- “Wright Electric Airlines. How does starting your own airline alter your design trade-offs?” -Stanley
- “I don’t know the answer here but just thought I’d send some support your way” -Sarah
- “What if accepting the slower, lower cruise saves bunches of fuel and money, allowing lower ticket costs and retaining profits?” -Dean
- “I don’t think that Henry Ford quote is necessarily that applicable in this case because you’re not creating a totally new product but offering operational advantages with an existing business model to airlines.” -Bennett / Shaun
- “I’m reminded of the importance of how you ask the questions to the airline. If you ask them to ideate and design it themselves they will use existing paradigms. You may get a more real response if you say “ok, this is what it’s going to be. do you want it?” -Tivan
- “If you reduce cruise speed, can you find other parts of block time you can cut? E.g., can you make the airplane board and unboard faster?” – Blake
- “I don’t think you’d actually save fuel by flying at lower altitudes and you’d be subject to more potential weather.” -Todd
- “Ask not what they want, but how your customer measures success?” -Jeremie
- “It’s taken us two full vehicle generations to feel strong about the correlation between our simulations and real world results.” -Fred
- “Beware lower altitude. While it takes less energy to get there, it also adds to drag/Q.” -Rich
- “We should try to better understand the adoption risk of various reg changes like altitude and possibly speed.” -Bart
- “How do we optimize for short haul? … Do you need galley? … Less baggage space? … If flying at lower altitude does a v-tail design work as well in turbulent air for stabilizing flight? … [and a ton of other brilliant suggestions]” -Ralph
- “The general expectation from the end customer is always faster, better, cheaper.” -Jay
- “Different airlines have been doing a lot of things to address very different segments in the market. … some sacrifices have to be made to address specific segment of the market.” -Jose
- “It’s basically the question of an MVP. I fully think that an M0.55 electric aircraft is a perfect MVP.” -Karthik
- “A quick thought: As an airline pilot, flying above 24,000′ was always better b/c (1) easier to navigate bad weather and (2) better fuel burn. Given that you’ll no longer be concerned about fuel burn, putting pilot weather navigation aside, is there still a need to be at 30,000′ or above?” -Pete
We’re re-opening the design space. There are a million nuances to the short haul market. We feel that if we deeply customize the plane (plus its overall ConOps, or concept of operations
) to their needs it’ll have lower costs and a better customer experience. Spending an extra month learning will be worthwhile down the line.
Speaking with Airline Employees
To this end, we’re looking to speak with people who work at airlines that fly 737s/A320s. Low-cost airline, legacy airline, something else. Mechanic (MRO), salesperson, something else. We’re looking to learn as many of the details as possible so we can best design our plane.
If you know anyone who works at an airline, would you mind asking them if they’d be willing to speak? Thank you in advance.
Adding one new rock star to the weport distribution list this weeK:
- Meridith Unger is Founder at Nix
Thanks to Elsa, Tuto, Junco, Sarah, Joe, Wei, Nate, Stanley, Dean, Bennett, Tivan, Blake, Todd, Mary, Jeremie, Fred, Rich, Bart, Ralph, Shaun, Jay, Jose, Karthik, Pete, Aaron, Noam, Darold, Andy, Ben, Chip, Lee, Jenn, Ryan, Naveen, Raja, Ian, Whitney, Ben, Rayyan, Sergio, Jacque, and everyone else who helped out and/or sent over words of encouragement this week.
Hope everyone had a great weekend!
PS: We really hope you’re enjoying these updates. But if at any time you’d like to stop receiving them, please just do so here. No hard feelings — we all understand inbox overload!
PPPS: The weport is switching to a monthly schedule this summer because of upcoming travel – see you in late June!