Alauda Airspeeder II - AAIB investigation report

…might want to hold off for a bit.

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Was just about to post the report. It makes interesting reading. Looks like the Aussies soldering skills are in question amongst a host of other problems.

Looks like flyaways are not confined to Minis on windy days. And the annoyance of a 249gram drone falling onto to roof tiles is probably less than an Airspeeder II weighing nearly 400 times that :slight_smile:

Full report (65 pages) here

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Full report is a good read. Does anyone know what the actual event was?

It was the opening day of the Goodwood Festival of Speed, 2019

Thought so but then why so few in the audience?

Very scary reading - 2mtrs long and at 8000ft!

Because it was an invitation only audience (potential investors?) watching from the roof of the aerodrome builidings. The paying public would have been in the grounds of Goodwood house looking at the hillclimbing and static exhibits.

This is the start of the flight:

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Those of us who swear by cable ties best beware.

Agreed but It’s in the name “cable-ties” not component-ties and this was by a “commercial enterprise”, they were lucky to get off so lightly.
They are used in just about every aircraft in service but they are not from Amazon/Ebay etc. There are many different grades not just sizes.

Judging by what looks to be a white stress-mark on one of those, these weren’t of the highest grade.

Screenshot 2021-02-19 at 14.10.05

In my younger days, when working on Polaris missile launch panels we only used Thomas & Betts (T&B Ansley) ties, nylon with a stainless steel tang to lock them, not the cheap one piece moulded rubbishy plastic you get these days :slightly_smiling_face:

What surprises me is that no examination of the aircraft was carried out by an authorised body. In the UK a model aircraft with a takeoff weight of 25kg or more needs an operational authorisation. The application for this OA should be accompanied with a certificate of air worthiness issued by the Large Model Association (LMA). After seeing how the electronics were constructed, and the type of components used in the construction, if this thing had been officially inspected it would not have been permitted to fly. Personally I would be ashamed of myself if my soldering was as poor as that shown in the pictures. And don’t get me started about using prototyping breadboard in something as large as this, especially when it’s so easy to get proper circuit boards made by a proper circuit board manufacturer relatively cheaply. Add to this the lack of any redundancy in the Flight Control system. At the bare minimum I would have thought they’d have installed a backup to the FrSky R9 receiver. I think due to the lack of vibration dampening the receiver they used probably shook loose, as did the wires for the kill switch.

All in all a comedy of errors with more than just the operator at fault.


Anyone know what the CAA did about this…fines? clamp down on the firms work practices and more to the point inspections…

“The AAIB found that the Alauda Airspeeder Mk II was not designed, built or tested to any recognisable standards and that its design and build quality were of a poor standard. “

That’s a pretty damning verdict :grimacing:

Perhaps they needed to demo to the potential investors to be able to “splurge” on “quality” zip ties and proper circuit boards ? ? ? ?

Nay, if they were committed to the project, and had pride in their work, they would have done it properly.
Bunch of cowboys :thinking:

Met people like these in my old job…they formed ailines with one or two aircraft and went bust in 6 months…tons of waffle and razz-a-mattaz…not a clue.
The old saying “Aviation attracts nuts”… :rofl:

Should look pretty good in their sales brochure :thinking: :astonished: :rofl:

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And what’s even scarier is that this was a prototype for a full-sized manned version!

That being so, one would hope they’d be using decent components/build so they could test properly. But obviously not.

Have to say though, I am shocked but not surprised. As someone who runs a compliance consultancy in a safety critical field, IME the number of people who genuinely want to do things properly is vanishingly small. Mostly, it’s the minimum to get past the regulations; sometimes less. They will spend on shineys and marketing but compliance is as we all know booooooooriiiiiiiing… right up until you’re in bother. These people are dead clever until it goes wrong, then they first try to blame the compliance consultant (nice try but any compliance consultant worth their salt works defensively, always) then they try blame each other. I could write the recipe, truly.

Sorry, in a cynical mode today. It’s dry outside for a change, however I am stuck indoors working on a correlation document (a detailed line-by-line description of exactly how a safety case meets a specific set of regulatory criteria). For the particular application I am working on today, I expect it will run to 15,000 words or so. Grrrr.