My next great Aircraft adventure begins; In Abu Dhabi.

DennisFetters

Gold Supporter
Joined
Jul 18, 2005
Messages
3,320
Location
Abu Dhabi UAE
Aircraft
582 Commander Elite
Total Flight Time
Stopped counting years ago after 5,000
Well, here we go again. Another great adventure. As I've mentioned before I accepted a position in a large UAV development company in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. First I'm going to build my latest 250kg MTOW UAV helicopter I called the StarLite-2A, which is smaller than the previous UAV helicopters I have built. This one has an empty weight of 116kg so it can be lifted into the back of a pickup truck to be transported. The last ones needed a forklift to load. Yet, the payload capability is 134kg for the new model while the larger crafts would lift 200kg. More bite for the bark.

On January 28 I arrived in Dubai. Abu Dhabi is locked down and you have to have special permission to enter. I was stuck in Dubai until today, February 3, 2021, until I was able to receive my COVID test results from the test upon arrival, and the special clearance from the government to allow me to pass the checkpoints.

This time instead of going directly to the factory, they gave me a GPS coordinate to go to in the middle of the desert. Ok, fishy, but I followed the directions. Upon my arrival and to my surprise, I could myself at the Al Wathba Lugsuray Resort and Spa;


2021-02-03 17_40_49-Al Wathba, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Abu Dhabi - Google Maps.png

It is massive. Everything in the picture is the resort. I guess kind of a welcome from the Sheikh. They said I'll be here for a week. It's about an 11-minute drive from the factory.

2021-02-03 17_45_54-Loiter Tech to Al Wathba, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Abu Dhabi - Google Maps.jpg

The factory is fantastic, the main building is the size of a football field, and they are expanding with another building on the North-West end that is even larger.

UAV company.jpg

Perfect Gyroplane runway! Maybe someday I can talk them into letting me build my super-gyro.
This is by far the best place that has contracted me to build aircraft. I have a two-year contract for now, and if things go well on this project they will ask me to stay on. This is the first place I've been where I may consider that extended offer.

What a perfect way to make a living. Using other people's money and facilities to build my aircraft designs. And they even pay me to do it!!! FOOLS, I would do it for food!!

I'll try and get pictures of the inside of the factory and make periodic updates for those that are interested.

My big decision this even is whether to haul in my other suitcases and get out my suit and tie to wair to dinner, as I should, or play the Yank-card and bum it.

Talk to you peasants later. ;-)
 
Last edited:

JEFF TIPTON

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 17, 2007
Messages
2,947
Location
DICKSON, TN
Aircraft
Grumman AA5
Total Flight Time
1350
Some people have all the luck. You have done well. Be well.
 

fara

AR-1 gyro manufacturer
Joined
Oct 31, 2011
Messages
3,689
Location
Tampa, FL
Aircraft
AR-1
Total Flight Time
4000+ 380 gyroplanes. Sport CFI Gyro and Trikes
Congrats Dennis. Best of luck.
 

DennisFetters

Gold Supporter
Joined
Jul 18, 2005
Messages
3,320
Location
Abu Dhabi UAE
Aircraft
582 Commander Elite
Total Flight Time
Stopped counting years ago after 5,000
So cool Dennis. Dress for the occasion so you get invited back!

Sorry, I Yankied it. Wore sweatpants, but I did wear a safari shirt.

The resort has several restaurants. I went to the one called rooftop. It's called rooftop because, well, it's on the roof. Moroccan food. I had the lamb shank with couscous. Fantastic. It was a little cool since I was setting outside, so they brought a fire over by me. Looking out over the white desert and watching the sunset. Very good start to my new adventure.

However, I design aircraft, so I'm always looking for the bad in something. Why treat me a week to such a nice place. Then again, I know Arabs, I was married to an Emiratis for 10 years after all. Then it started to remind me that an Arab would always fatten up the goat before the slaughter.

So now I'm a think'n they want me to get the fun out of my system and then it will be Yalla Yalla Yalla every minute of every day!!! Crap!
 

DennisFetters

Gold Supporter
Joined
Jul 18, 2005
Messages
3,320
Location
Abu Dhabi UAE
Aircraft
582 Commander Elite
Total Flight Time
Stopped counting years ago after 5,000
Some people have all the luck. You have done well. Be well.

Although I do believe I have been lucky in my life, and very much appreciate that fact. However, I would like to think that the paths I chose also had something to do with it.

Back when I was building and selling Mini-500 helicopters, I was getting retail about $56.00 per pound. That was all people were willing to pay for a single place helicopter if I was going to build 5 per week.

Even the R-22 helicopter will sell for $555 per pound.

When I saw the opportunity to jump into UAV helicopters, I was one of the very few that had the experience and willingness to do so. The fact is that a UAV helicopter can sell for about $4,000.00 per pound. Sure, you don't sell so many, but you don't need to. Instead of people calling wanting free parts and service like in the homebuilt market, you got big companies and governments willing and happy to spend millions. When they crash it, they just buy more, only next time they order a backup too.....
 

DennisFetters

Gold Supporter
Joined
Jul 18, 2005
Messages
3,320
Location
Abu Dhabi UAE
Aircraft
582 Commander Elite
Total Flight Time
Stopped counting years ago after 5,000
I didn't realize the company I'm with rented me a room in this resort for 10 days. I'm about relaxed-out.

However, it's close to the factory so I have been able to go there and play around.

My car will arrive from the USA on Feb 27, my 5 rolling toolboxes will arrive on Feb 28th, and I found a nice apartment 20 minutes from work I'll soon move into. It's all fitting nicely so far without snags.

Below I took some pictures of this resort I'm staying at. Just magnificent. Thises are solid wood doors 6" thick.

If you are going to plan an overseas vacation, you got to come to Dubai and even Abu Dhabi.

1088d6cc99c9f04cdaf79a59353b0fc.jpg

4f764c73949cde013a4a15112952e72.jpg

54a81b6f705d0b57d275efe6e23cdec.jpg

b90d3b4fa6b4d6e5407a222f6f27fbd.jpg
 

Smack

Re-member?
Joined
Nov 3, 2013
Messages
731
Location
Georgetown
Aircraft
Kitfox IV / F1 Rocket / Magni M-16 / Beech 18
Total Flight Time
500+
Dennis, there is (was 7 year ago) a Nando's Chicken in Dubai.
Highly recommended. I like "Extra Hot". ;)
Brian
 

Resasi

Gold Supporter
Joined
Jul 2, 2007
Messages
8,077
Location
London/ Kilifi Kenya
Aircraft
Gyrs, RAF 2000/Mgni/Bnsn/Hrnet/Mrlin/Crckt/MT-03/Lyzlle AV18-A/Prdtor. Pax ArrowCopter
Total Flight Time
100+ gyro, 16,000+ other
Looks nice Denis. I spent 22 years flying throughout the ME while based in Jeddah. Had a few friends who flew for Emirates when it very first started as an airline. I was flying into Dubai when, it only had three of the major hotels on the creek and the Falcon roundabout in 1975. In later years it changed into the futuristic place it is now.

Most important words to learn:-
Inshallah. God willing.
Bukrah. Tomorrow.
Baad bukrah. Day after tomorrow.
Malish. Never mind.
Mishmumkin. Impossible.
Shweya. Slow down.
Baad Shweya. In a while.
Mamnoue. Forbidden
Dagiga. Hang on.

What happened to the Chinese wife and daughter?
 

DennisFetters

Gold Supporter
Joined
Jul 18, 2005
Messages
3,320
Location
Abu Dhabi UAE
Aircraft
582 Commander Elite
Total Flight Time
Stopped counting years ago after 5,000
Looks nice Denis. I spent 22 years flying throughout the ME while based in Jeddah. Had a few friends who flew for Emirates when it very first started as an airline. I was flying into Dubai when, it only had three of the major hotels on the creek and the Falcon roundabout in 1975. In later years it changed into the futuristic place it is now.

Most important words to learn:-
Inshallah. God willing.
Bukrah. Tomorrow.
Baad bukrah. Day after tomorrow.
Malish. Never mind.
Mishmumkin. Impossible.
Shweya. Slow down.
Baad Shweya. In a while.
Mamnoue. Forbidden
Dagiga. Hang on.

What happened to the Chinese wife and daughter?

They are still in Dayton Ohio. I come here ahead to get things set up, learn the lay of the land and the best place to buy a villa. My daughter will not finish school until May, so I'll fly home in June, help load everything up to ship, and rent out our house in Dayton.

There is an excellent international school in Dubai that has classes in Chinese, English an and Arabic that we want her to enroll in. Shenandoah (my daughter) speaks perfect English as well as perfect Chinese, and now learning Spanish in Dayton Christain school. So we want her to keep up on both English and Chinese while learning Arabic.

I'll stay in Abu Dhabi for the week and go to Dubai for the weekends, and while there I'll just speak Spanish to Shenandoah to keep her going with that.
 
Last edited:

Resasi

Gold Supporter
Joined
Jul 2, 2007
Messages
8,077
Location
London/ Kilifi Kenya
Aircraft
Gyrs, RAF 2000/Mgni/Bnsn/Hrnet/Mrlin/Crckt/MT-03/Lyzlle AV18-A/Prdtor. Pax ArrowCopter
Total Flight Time
100+ gyro, 16,000+ other
That is really great to hear. My wife was Lebanese who I met while we were both working in Libya. She spoke perfect English, to the extent that she did not, for some strange reason not want to teach our two sons Arabic. Something all four of us regret to this day. They were born in Kenya, grew up in Saudi but went to boarding schools in UK. Languages are a passport to the world.

I had a sister and some cousins who had emigrated to the US so have visited every year for many years. In fact after leaving the UK Marines went to the US in 69 to do my FAA commercial. Did all my ratings and ended up working as an instructor for a couple years down in Miami. Absolutely loved it, as did my youngest son who emigrated there in his late teens.

Always remember your kind help with designing our engine mount when he and I were both building our first Hornet.

Good luck with this new venture, I am sure you will love it.
 

DennisFetters

Gold Supporter
Joined
Jul 18, 2005
Messages
3,320
Location
Abu Dhabi UAE
Aircraft
582 Commander Elite
Total Flight Time
Stopped counting years ago after 5,000
I've been getting moved into my little flat. I hate shopping for furniture and appliances, but it's turning out to be most comfortable.

2.jpg
This is the view outside the left of my balcony onto the swimming pool and hot tube.

1.jpg
Turning right is a BBQ area. The compound is fenced in and a full-time guard. They say it's one of the best places to live in this area yet costs only about $9,800 per year, and that includes all utilities! Electric, water, trash, etc. However, I have to provide my own Internet. Civilized!

Also, yesterday was the IDEX show (International Defence Exhibition & Conference).
It was about the same as every time I've gone, but this year you can see the industry shifting to the UAE. It was well represented this year. I took a bunch of photos and I'll post them from the office tomorrow.
 

DennisFetters

Gold Supporter
Joined
Jul 18, 2005
Messages
3,320
Location
Abu Dhabi UAE
Aircraft
582 Commander Elite
Total Flight Time
Stopped counting years ago after 5,000
Furniture has arrived!!!!!!!!

You may not think of that as a big deal, but my bed has been my chair, and the ironing board has been my desk/dining table;

1.jpg

Everything comes in a box, and they leave one poor guy behind to unbox and assemble everything!!

2.jpg

3.jpg

4.jpg

5.jpg

6.jpg

The adventure continues!

As mentioned, the day before I went to the IDEX show. While there, I hear my name being called. When turning around to look, it was the team of people I met in Egypt a few months ago for UAV business!! Small world. I met with them last evening in downtown Abu Dhabi and enjoyed a nice Turkish dinner outside the restaurant. Great people!
 

Attachments

  • 1.jpg
    1.jpg
    258.2 KB · Views: 4
  • 4.jpg
    4.jpg
    158.2 KB · Views: 2

DennisFetters

Gold Supporter
Joined
Jul 18, 2005
Messages
3,320
Location
Abu Dhabi UAE
Aircraft
582 Commander Elite
Total Flight Time
Stopped counting years ago after 5,000
11.jpg

12.jpg

13.jpg

I'm not sure who this Bigwig is but everyone was reading quite the ruckus over him. The guy looking straight at me I know. I was in a Mubadala meeting with him and he was one of the head-honchos.


14.jpg

15.jpg

16.jpg

17.jpg

18.jpg

19.jpg

20.jpg
 

DavePA11

Active Member
Joined
Nov 16, 2015
Messages
852
Location
USA
Thanks for sharing the photos. Are those models or do some actually fly? Did they have any demonstrati9ns of flying drones?
 
Top