1) What inspired you to create HangarBot?
HangarBot was created as a solution-based product to automate the needs of general aviators. Our mission is to usher the aviation industry into a more modern, convenient and connected era.
The first product created was the HangarBot Door Controller. A friend and I were looking for an easy remote that would allow him to open his hangar door as he was taxiing in, or even from home for those occasional calls to his mechanic. From there, we wanted to keep building solutions and began polling pilots to see what other tasks they would like to automate during either preflight or post-flight.
2) What is your background, both professionally and in aviation?
I have always been interested in technology, specifically mobile tech. Over the years I have worked to deliver mobile app-driven IoT solutions for mid-level manufacturers.
I’m not a professional pilot, but I can stay on the centerline. I see and talk about planes every single day, so while I’m not a professional pilot, I’m in love with aviation. I have been ever since I first touched the controls on my family friend’s Cherokee.
3) Do you see general aviation as an innovation-friendly industry?
Actually, no. But we are hoping to change that. While the demand from the market is present, aviation technology seems to be trickling down from commercial aviation and the executive jet market.
Very rarely is a new and exciting product available to the general aviation community right off the bat. Our products are reasonably priced and include innovative tech.
4) What technological advancements or trends do you forecast for the general aviation industry over the next five to 10 years?
I predict that the connected pilot will become more prevalent. I’m not talking about unmanned navigation, but rather things like aircraft maintenance and airport operations.
Many hangar users today have been unable to experience the benefits of being able to remotely control things like access to the hangar, turning on engine block heaters or managing temperatures. Products like HangarBot will take on all of these challenges and more, to offer a truly innovative and future-forward way of using, building and managing hangars.
5) What do you see as the future for hangars themselves?
For the last century, hangars have been simple storage facilities. With the introduction of hangar technology, you can add a connected environment.
We have customers who completely utilize our systems to the fullest capabilities of an IoT device – including customers who streamed the Superbowl from the HangarBot Hub with a projector in their hangar! Our big thing is to “reclaim the hangar” as the hangout spot, as well as automate a pilot’s life, making the entire experience and space more accessible and efficient.