Former NASA Veteran David McBride Joins Supernal as Chief Technology Officer to Lead Development of Revolutionary Electric Air Taxi

David McBride named Chief Technology Officer of Supernal, to spearhead development of air taxi services

David McBride, a NASA veteran with over 20 years of experience in aerospace and engineering, has been appointed as the Chief Technology Officer at Supernal, a subsidiary of Hyundai Motor Group. In his new role, McBride will lead the development and certification of Supernal’s proposed electric air taxi, the SA-2. Based in Washington, DC, he will oversee technology strategy and aircraft development, managing around 400 employees in the engineering and technology division.

According to CEO Jaiwon Shin, Supernal is entering a new phase of development following the debut of its conceptual SA-2 air taxi at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. Shin expressed excitement about McBride joining the team and his ability to help bring Supernal’s scalable eVTOL vehicle to market by 2028.

McBride’s background includes serving as the director of NASA’s Armstrong Flight Research Center, where he played a key role in various missions, such as achieving full operational capability of the Boeing 747SP aircraft. He also contributed to advancing aerospace knowledge through projects like the solar-powered Helios aircraft and the X-57 Maxwell all-electric aircraft.

McBride expressed his enthusiasm for joining Supernal to work on bringing the SA-2 air taxi to market. The SA-2 air taxi is designed to accommodate four passengers and will feature a V-tail and a distributed electric propulsion system with eight tiltrotors. It will cruise at 104kt and be optimized for flights between 40km and 64km.

Supernal plans to leverage Hyundai’s manufacturing capabilities in scaling the production of their eVTOL. The company aims to complete a first flight with a technology demonstrator by the end of 2024 and assemble a production prototype by 2026.

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