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Drone Radio Show

The Drone Radio Show is a weekly podcast about drones and the people who use them for business, fun and research. Our guests share how they’re using drones to make a positive impact, build a business, lessons they’ve learned and insights that you can use to take YOUR interest in drones to the next level.
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Now displaying: November, 2022
Nov 29, 2022

What are the current trends in UAS parachute recovery systems?

For that question, we head to Monte Sereno, California to speak with Gene Engelgau, CEO and Founder of Fruity Chutes.  Fruity Chutes manufactures premium quality parachutes for aerospace, corporate, institutional, university and consumer customers. Since 2007, Fruity Chutes parachutes have established a reputable history for dependable performance in unmanned applications

In addition to producing parachute recovery systems, the company provides drone manufacturers with free technical support for full recovery system integration.  It also assists manufacturers with obtaining certifications and waivers relating to FAA and ASTM standards as well as other national and international regulations. Since founding Fruity Chutes in 2007, the company has established itself as the leading provider to the UAS industry of a broad range of parachute recovery products optimized for light weight at a high strength capacity.  Fruity Chutes is the first UAS recovery company to have a customer using their parachutes obtain an Operations Over People Waiver, an Operations over Moving Vehicles Waiver, and FAA Type Certification. 

Gene has been part of the Silicon Valley tech industry since the late 70s.  He has founded several tech start-ups both in the early Internet e-commerce space as well as the hobby radio control industries.  He has experience in electronics hardware design, embedded systems, enterprise software, and web systems design and databases.

Gene has always had a passion for aeromodelling. He’s flown RC aircraft and rockets for 40 years.  In the mid-80s, Gene helped found CSys Labs Inc., a company that designed and manufactured one of the first all computer controlled RC airplane controllers and was sold under the Airtronics/Sanwa brand.

Gene has two daughters that hold key roles in the company. Janice Engelgau is the Lead Communications Specialist of Fruity Chutes with nearly a decade of experience working in the UAS industry. Developing methods to better educate the industry on parachute recovery has been the main pillar of her work with Fruity Chutes. Her goal is to help as many UAS professionals as possible understand the profound benefits of parachute recovery and successfully implement recovery into their systems.

Jayne Engelgau is the Head of Content and Web Development at Fruity Chutes. She integrates her inquisitive mind for drone applications with her experience in visual design, written media, and web development. She is committed to educating the UAS industry on the vital roles of safety technologies, parachute recovery system implementation, standardization, as well as pre-, post-, and in-flight PRS protocol. Upholding a lifelong belief that educational knowledge should be accessible, she popularizes and enlivens topics of UAS recovery in bright, “fruity” colors across a variety of communicative modes.

In Episode 171 recorded in 2018, I interviewed Gene and Jan as they introduced us to Fruity Chutes. In this episode of the Drone Radio Show, Gene, Jan and Jayne discuss about how changes in the drone industry in the past 3 years affect the design and use of parachute recovery systems

Nov 8, 2022

What’s the market like for UAS in Latin America?

Juan Plaza is CEO of Plaza Aerospace, a consulting company specializing in crewed and uncrewed aviation, Latin American Business Development and GIS consulting.  The company helps organizations reach their goals faster by selecting the right platforms and implementing the best deployment practices. 

Prior to forming Plaza Aerospace in 2015, Juan spent more than 26 years as a Sales Director for companies such as Autodesk and Trimble Navigation, nearly all time in Latin America where he developed a network of software and hardware distributors willing and eager to represent new products in their respective countries.

Juan oversaw the implementation of some of the largest Geographic Information Systems deployments in the world and developed a reputation as a Project Manager with a fierce focus on finishing on time and within budget.

Juan received a degree in Geodesy in 1984 and a MBA in International Finance in 2004. He’s a commercial pilot flying Citation jets for photogrammetry applications in the Americas, and holds a Part 107 certificate

In this episode of the Drone Radio Show, Juan talks about Plaza Aerospace, the market for UAS in Latin America and he provides insights into how companies and entrepreneurs can successfully establish a new business Latin American countries.

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