Cargo Airline Without Pilots And A Lesson For Dr Mahathir
Here is a really short video. This is the AT200 Chinese drone cargo plane. This is a newly developed propeller driven airplane with a regular aero-engine. It is a drone meaning it is flown by remote control from a ground station.
The AT200 first flew in 2017 and has now become operational in 2019.
The drone plane is 12 metres long, it can carry 1.5 tons of cargo a distance of 2,183 km and has a flight endurance of 8 hours. The maximum flight speed is 313 km/hr.
The flight ceiling is 6000 metres (over 18,000 ft) which enables it to fly safely over most mountain ranges inside China.
The plane can take off and land in 200 metres (just below 700 feet) making it very suitable for mountains, small islands, jungle landing strips etc.
There are some other interesting points to note. This plane was developed by the Chinese Academy of Sciences. Like in most other countries the Chinese Academy of Sciences is very prestigious and only scientists who have made significant achievements and contributions in Science are admitted.
Yet the Academy has lent its talent to develop a product that has so much commercial potential. They are being practical and maximising the use of their talent pool.
The plane is controlled remotely from a ground station. Multiple planes can be "flown" by operators from a single "control room". This will significantly reduce the costs of operating cargo flights. Less fuel will be needed and there will be no flight risks to human pilots.
The drone plane will eventually become bigger and it will really transform the air cargo business in China.
Although the technology is here to fly any plane by remote control it is going to be a very long time before passenger planes will actually be flown by remote control.
This Chinese cargo drone will perhaps lay the groundwork for a network of drone planes criss crossing China. And it may eventually lead to remotely operated, (pilotless) passenger drones.
I believe this drone will eventually also become autonomous, meaning it will take off and land by itself without any ground operator either. This is a really fantastic piece of technology.
The final point to note here is for Dr Mahathir. Obviously some Chinese government funds (state funds) are involved in the development of this plane. Such projects do raise the engineering skills of China (which is what Dr Mahathir wanted to do with Proton).
The point to note is that this drone airplane is NOT a consumer product. The Chinese government is not going to burden the ordinary and poorer Mr Bo Xi Lai, Mrs Xi Xi Chen or Miss Qin and force them to buy this airplane (which is what happened to Proton).
Through tariff protection, licensing, price controls, APs and other obstructions to the free market pricing of cars Dr Mahathir forced the poor especially the Malays to buy his "national car" ie Proton.
How? By increasing the prices of all other cars and then selling Proton as the cheaper alternative.
What this means was there was actually NO alternative for the poor. Actually the people could already afford to buy Honda Civic and Honda Citi but because of Dr Mahathir's decision to burden the poor, the poor were forced to buy the failed Proton but at Honda prices.
This is what the Chinese are NOT doing. They are funding the design and manufacture of an airplane drone. This is NOT a consumer product.
This drone airplane will only be bought by the air cargo, freight forwarding, couriers and other logistics and transport companies in China. It is NOT a consumer product.
This drone airplane will NOT burden the Chinese man in the street like how Dr Mahathir's failed Proton burdened the Malaysian consumer - for 30 years.
This drone airplane will not only raise China's engineering and technical skills but it will bring huge cost savings into the Chinese air cargo, logistics, courier, freight forwarding industries. It will actually LOWER costs in one sector of the Chinese economy.
In Malaysia Dr Mahathir's idea was Proton CANNOT survive unless he burdened the whole Malaysian economy with HIGHER car prices. Which is what Dr Mahathir did for over 30 years - including until today. This is why Proton failed.
The Chinese have raised their engineering skills by LOWERING the costs to their economy.
Dr Mahathir failed to raise our engineering skills by INCREASING the costs in our economy.
Basically Dr Mahathir has not understood simple business or economics. Posted by Syed Akbar Ali
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