posted on Jun, 4 2019 @ 12:22 AM
a reply to: TheGreatWork
And you clearly do not know or understand the laws of aerospace approvals and production, nor the basics of mass production versus manufacturing
costs. Its NOT a military thing.
A full set of engine mount bolts on a large civilian widebody airliner like a 777/A-380/A-350 etc can set you back at least $3-5000US, per engine. And
you pay that every single time you drop an engine. Thats $300-500 per bolt, minimum. Why? because only a few thousand of those bolts will be
manufactured per year world wide, they are uniquely sized for that specific application, must be manufactured using extremely high material and
production quality control. Usually require expensive production processes and have gone through a very long and very expensive regulatory approval
process that is constantly being audited and checked to maintain critical quality. Because the last thing you need is those bolts failing in their
intended use. That all requires time and money, for something you will use your very expensive manufacturing machinery and materials to make only a
few thousand of. A standard AD rivet or an AN bolt in say 1/4" or 5/16" on the other hand will cost mere cents each because they are less critical
individually, are easier to make and most importantly, will be manufactured in the hundreds of thousands to tens of millions per year using easier
manufacturing processes. Yesterday I saw a mechanical push pin coded cabin door lock on an airliner replacement attempted. That lock unit was made
out of mostly CNC milled 2024 aluminium alloy and stainless steel, nothing special but it cost about $20,000US. Why? because only a few hundred of
that aircraft have been made, less than 12 a year are now being built, and some configs probably dont have that lock fitted. Which means after 12+
years of production its reasonable that including spares the entire design, approval, production and certification of that lock may need to be
amortized across a production run of maybe 300 units or less.
The same argument can be applied to drones. Sure the US military gets ripped off and the taxpayer could be given a much better deal, but its still an
expensive process. The specialized and military spec quality drones may only have a few thousand to a few tens of thousands total life production run.
DJI on the other hand will probably pump out at least ten times that number of one particular series per year to a lower build quality, and without
the added features the military version may need like weatherproofing or jam resistant controls.
Apples are apples and oranges are oranges, and never the twain shall meet...