Never too young to suc­ceed

Electric Flight - - CONTENTS - By the Elec­tric Flight crew

Never too young to suc­ceed

Have you ever thought of start­ing a busi­ness that would com­bine an in­ter­est or pas­sion you had with a plan that would ad­dress im­por­tant so­cial is­sues? Many of us have had great ideas but, along the way, have found that the fol­low-through in be­com­ing an en­tre­pre­neur can be very dif­fi­cult. Many ex­cel­lent plans sim­ply never de­velop to see the light of day. We re­cently met a young man who was in­spired and went on to suc­cess­fully start his own busi­ness. And on top of that, he’s a lot younger than you might think. Here’s his suc­cess story.

Jonathon (Wes­ley Hawke) Weiss, from El­dora, Iowa, just turned 16 and owns Jon­nyuav, an on­line store with a store­front in north cen­tral Iowa. His com­pany pro­duces launch­ing and land­ing pads and other spe­cial­ized prod­ucts for the un­manned aerial ve­hi­cle (UAV) drone hobby in­dus­try. Jonathon has been work­ing with drones and UAVS in search and res­cue, home­land se­cu­rity, emer­gency man­age­ment, and first-re­spon­der safety for more than two years now. In­spired by his fa­ther, a home­land-se­cu­rity con­sul­tant who worked on some of the early drone pro­to­types, Jonathon started de­sign­ing el­e­vated drone workstations and launch plat­forms to help sup­port these kinds of drones.

Us­ing drones in emer­gency sit­u­a­tions can ex­pose the air­craft to a lot of dust, de­bris, mois­ture, and even snow—all of which can cause cor­ro­sion, ru­in­ing ex­pen­sive equip­ment. Af­ter a while, Jonathon tried an el­e­vated plat­form, which not only keeps the drone away from the el­e­ments but also helps pre­vent op­er­a­tors from hav­ing to kneel in mud or wet grass or from hurt­ing their backs while bend­ing over. Also, hav­ing a sta­ble, el­e­vated take­off and land­ing plat­form helps elim­i­nate the risks of in­jury caused by hand launches and grab re­cov­er­ies at the end of a flight.

These ac­ces­sories were well re­ceived, and Jonathon’s par­ents en­cour­aged him to cre­ate the com­pany in 2016. A promis­ing startup, Jon­nyuav pro­vides drone safety op­tions and solutions for all kinds of drone pilots. Jonathon says he wants to see ev­ery­one fly­ing by the rules but also hav­ing fun. His own in­ter­est in drones came about with his in­volve­ment with his fa­ther, who started to in­te­grate UAVS into his re­sponse unit more than five years ago. Dur­ing that time, Jonathon be­gan to learn not only how to fly but also how to re­pair, de­sign, and build UAVS and drones. Like other kids, his first per­sonal drone was an in­ex­pen­sive toy that he re­ceived as a Christ­mas gift. But his true pas­sion came from his in­volve­ment in fly­ing the UAVS his fa­ther’s team used dur­ing search and res­cues and dis­as­ter-re­sponse mis­sions.


Af­ter the com­pany got started, Jonathon soon man­aged to ac­quire a dis­trib­u­tor­ship and be­gan sell­ing drones, mak­ing Jon­nyuav a one-stop shop for all types of UAV cus­tomers. While his goal is to work in the home­land-se­cu­rity field, be­ing the owner of a suc­cess­ful busi­ness has been a great op­por­tu­nity for him to im­prove his man­age­ment skills.

Jon­nyuav’s mis­sion is to pro­duce safer skies, ed­u­cate UAV pilots, and help pre­vent drone-re­lated in­juries. Jonathon says, “We want the pub­lic to fly by the books and fol­low the rules, but also have fun and en­joy the su­per power of flight. We want to see agen­cies, emer­gency man­age­ment, law en­force­ment, and other or­ga­ni­za­tions in­crease the use of UAVS to save man hours and help save lives.” Jonathon has shown that he has what it takes to be a suc­cess­ful drone and UAV en­tre­pre­neur.


With con­nec­tions made from his fa­ther’s in­volve­ment with first re­spon­ders, Jonathon has a lot of ex­pe­ri­ence and re­sources to build on.

These il­lus­tra­tions in­di­cate the dan­ger zones of op­er­at­ing drones. Us­ing an el­e­vated plat­form in­creases op­er­a­tor safety.

The work plat­form is ideal for sport as well as com­mer­cial drone op­er­a­tions. The plat­form is ad­justable for dif­fer­ent work heights, and is large enough to be used with large cam­era-equipped com­mer­cial drones.

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