As GRIFF’s Quality Manager, Martin Rolén-Hustad never assumes, he has to be sure. He is meticulous and patient to the extreme. His work is most rewarding when it’s boring, when everything goes to plan.
Creating an aircraft like the GRIFF is not something that is done in a month or a year, it’s a process that takes time. As a kid, I would spend the summer holidays out on my uncle’s farm, producing vegetables, herding cattle, harvesting crops, all of which takes a long effort, sustained persistance.
You need to be patient, let the produce sprout, grow and mature, you can’t push it. The creation of the GRIFF is the same, it grows from an idea, a concept, step by step, and it takes changes and alterations, new point of views to find the perfect balance and right expression of the idea.
I’ve always had that patience to stick with the work, to immerse myself in the detail. I’ve always been interested in mechanics, disassembling, assembling, repairing, finding out how something works. I like to do things for myself rather than asking others to do it. If you learn by trying, one step at a time, you soon discover nothing is too difficult, it may take some time, it may require diligence and accuracy, but there is always a solution.
“I trust the process because I’m involved and I want to get right into the details, dive down into the boring stuff. Then I can see the work of my colleagues, and build trust in what they are doing, and that it is up to my standards as a meticulous quality manager.”
I have a passion for restoring vintage motorbikes. When I’m out in my garage working with the motorbikes, I like to sit down and just admire them and think about the build quality. When I’m riding a bike that I’ve worked on myself, I know I am responsible for it, so I trust the work and I trust the bike. I can jump on, go for a ride, and be confident that nothing will happen, nothing will go wrong. It should be an enjoyable ride, but technically it should be boring.
I’ve also always been interested in building and flying remote controlled model planes, and it was that interest when I was younger that led me to study aeronautical engineering at university when I left school. When I graduated, I worked with a company in Norway doing maintenance on military aircraft, and then some years later I moved to the maritime sector. This opened up a different world that eventually took me into design for the subsea oil and gas sector.
Now that was serious work because anything you do subsea has to be quality in every aspect. If you put a piece of kit on the seabed, it has to sit there for 50 years, not five, not ten, and it has to operate safely without you ever going near it again. That experience changed the way I think about a product, and I took that experience into GRIFF – where no component can ever fail.
And in that sentiment lies the link between my passion for motorbikes, my work in the subsea sector, and my work with the drones – a relentless focus on the quality of the build, a desire to ensure no component ever fails.
On the GRIFF 135 every component is made for performing hour after hour, day after day, all year round. I’m preoccupied with system and order, a need to understand all the connections and consequences. Working with drones at the sizes we build is a serious business. I remember we had a test of the aircraft, we were testing its pulling force, and I thought this is really exciting, it’s going to be a bit a drama, but what happened? Nothing, no drama at all. I was happy because the job was boring. Happy because every component had performed as it was meant to.
Flying the GRIFF makes you feel confident, you can feel the strength, it does its job, and it does it well. The build quality of the aircraft, you can touch it, see it, feel it. You can fly, lift, land, and go home. Job done.