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Roberts Space Industries ®






November 16th 2022

Clean Shot: IAE Predictions

IAE Predictions

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Howdy, folks! Craig Burton here with another installment of Clean Shot, the show that delivers the latest news and reviews that today’s hauler’s need to know. Alongside me, as always, is Skinny, who’s literally packing his bags for the Intergalactic Aerospace Expo as I speak.

SKINNY: What’s that?

The show started and here you are rooting around our luggage.

SKINNY: Would you rather double check that we got all our gear?

I’ll leave that in your capable hands. Just threw me to see you doing it during the show.

SKINNY: Sorry, figured I had a second before you invited me on. Wanted to triple check that we had a back-up TX-3 adapter in here before I forgot.

Anything else you need to knock out before we get started?

SKINNY: I’m good to go.

For the IAE or this show?


Fantastic. Before me is the man who needs no introduction but insists that I still do one. His resume includes being Clean Shot’s producer, a certified gearhead, and the self-proclaimed “King of Components.” How you doing, Skinny? Excited for the IAE?

SKINNY: Absolutely, but can you hold on a sec? I just need to double check… Kidding.

Well, aren’t you full of piss and vinegar today?

SKINNY: How can you not be? It’s IAE season.

If you can’t already tell, we’re keeping this one a little looser than normal because Skinny and I are supposed to catch a transport right after this.

SKINNY: And we’re a little bit behind schedule.

Whole crew got hit with a bad case of TRV last week which thankfully we seem to be past the worst of now. Ate my first good meal in a long time last night and actually managed to keep it down.

SKINNY: Was worried for a hot minute that we might have to skip the show altogether.

Yeah, I would’ve been pretty devastated if we had to miss this year. As you can imagine, we’re both very excited for the show, and you should be too, as we have a Hull E full of content planned, with Skinny going above and beyond to line up some outstanding guests. He even got us a sneak peek at—

SKINNY: Careful now.

—some of the big surprises manufacturers have in-store. Did you really think I was gonna let something slip there?

SKINNY: A good producer takes nothing for granted. That’s why I had to triple check that the extra TX-3 adapter was packed.

Well, as thrilling as this conversation is, how about we get to the issue at hand?

SKINNY: Let’s do it.

That’s right, it’s time for our annual IAE predictions segment where Skinny and I hone our powers of prognostication around this year’s event. Skinny, care to get us started?

SKINNY: I’m gonna go bold with my first one here. I predict that attendance at the satellite IAE expos will exceed the attendance at the main expo in Kiel.

Interesting. Did not see a prediction like this coming from you. Figured most of yours would be something like a component manufacturer announcing a new generation of heat distribution coils to improve cooler performance.

SKINNY: To be honest, making predictions was harder this year because we’ve already been scooped to some of the big reveals coming.

Had that same issue myself. I understand wanting to know what’s coming, but half the fun of the show for me is being there for the announcements. It’s like opening your Luminalia presents early. Ruins the whole thing. But anyway, you really think people are going to skip Kiel this year in favor of the other shows?

SKINNY: Yeah, attendance numbers have been trending in this direction for several years now. More and more people have realized that it’s a huge pain to get into Kiel. There’s already so much traffic and somehow the express lanes created to expedite official expo ships have only made things worse for everyone else.

You remember how long we waited to make the jump into Kiel last year?

SKINNY: Long enough for me to take two naps. Plus, people have realized that the local expos, like the one in Stanton, are just as fun and full of spectacle as the main event.

And don’t forget the security issues.

SKINNY: Good call. Seems like every year I’m hearing more and more stories about criminals targeting ships traveling to and from Kiel. So that’s another headache to factor into your travel plans. Add all that up, and throw in the rising cost of hotels, and well, I think more people will avoid the main event in favor of the satellite expos.

Solid prediction. Moving onto my first one, I’m gonna predict that Silas Koerner makes an appearance on the show floor on a day when Consolidated Outland isn’t featured.

SKINNY: Instead of being there on day six?

Oh, I think he’ll be there then too. That man can’t help himself.

SKINNY: For extra bragging rights, you want to predict what day he shows up?

That’s tough, but my guess would be one of the first few days. That’ll create more buzz around Consolidated’s day-six appearance, and shift the narrative away from all the negative press the company got recently following the departure of several top execs.

SKINNY: Those leaked comms from Silas sure were something. If you ever spoke to me like that, I’d quit too and give you more than just a piece of my mind while heading out the door.

Yeah, not a good look for Silas, which is why I believe he has some kinda antics planned for the IAE. What’s next on your prediction, Skinny?

SKINNY: Okay, how about this? I predict that Drake will not be allowed to be the main sponsor after this year.

And why’s that?

SKINNY: The way I understand it, the IAE board of directors sets rules and standards that the sponsor must adhere to so they don’t hurt the image and integrity of the event.

Or other manufacturers.

SKINNY: Exactly, and Drake’s instinct is to push buttons and go against the grain. Sources have told me that Drake’s been frustrated with the IAE board for months and had to scrap some of their biggest ideas and plans for the event. But I don’t think they can help themselves. I’m guessing they have something up their sleeve for the expo that’s gonna anger the board and get them banned from being the main sponsor going forward.

I get your point but I’ll take the other side of this bet all day. I’m not surprised that Drake’s been butting heads with the IAE, but if they’re good at one thing, it’s knowing how to artfully bend the rules to their favor.

SKINNY: And they’ve tried, but even getting the theme and slogans for this year’s event approved turned into a huge fight that annoyed some of the folks at Drake. From what I hear, some execs already believe being the main sponsor is way more trouble than it’s worth, so why not do something unexpected? If they don’t care about being the main sponsor again, then a ban doesn’t matter and they can generate a ton of publicity out of it.

I think sponsoring the event is part of a long game for them. If anything, this is the year they sit back, learn how it all works, and then figure out how to subvert future events.

SKINNY: Another thing I’m factoring in is backlash from their diehard fans. Spectrum is already filled with folks who think Drake are going soft or betraying their brand by becoming the main sponsor. There’s a chance they’ve underestimated just how many people love what they do because it antagonizes other brands. Hard to play the underdog when you’re literally sponsoring the biggest aerospace event of the year.

Come on, let’s be honest here. Drake aren’t some scrappy start-up anymore. They’re a major manufacturer that has smartly defined themselves by being what other brands aren’t. Some of their fans might not like it, but doing this might convince more people to give their ships a shot.

SKINNY: I don’t know. It feels like the most Drake thing they could do is become the official sponsor, anger the IAE, and justify it by saying something like “what’d they expect Drake not to be Drake?” That’s my prediction and I’m sticking with it.

We need to go to a break here in a moment, but let me get one more prediction in before that. This one might ruffle some feathers but I don’t think Jax will be back this year.

SKINNY: So you’re not buying the rumors that this has all been an elaborate publicity stunt?

I mean, I hope that’s true, because I love Jax and all the crazy things he does for the sake of testing ships, but umm… you know, a lotta the folks on spectrum who have ship shows know each other and I’ve heard zilch from anyone about him.

SKINNY: Same. If all this is a publicity stunt, then bravo to all involved for keeping it so locked down.

Anyways, we need to take a quick break. After that, we’ll do a special IAE related TroubleZone that you won’t want to miss if you’re traveling to the main event or any of the expos. Trust me. That and more when Clean Shot returns.

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