David McBride appointed as Supernal’s new chief technology officer to spearhead advancements in air taxi development

NASA Veteran Takes Flight with Hyundai’s Electric Air Taxi Initiative

NASA veteran David McBride has been named as the chief technology officer at Hyundai Motor Group subsidiary Supernal. In this new role, McBride will be responsible for leading the development and certification of the company’s proposed electric air taxi, known as the SA-2 air taxi.

Prior to joining Supernal, McBride worked as the director of NASA’s Armstrong Flight Research Center, where he achieved full operational capability for the Boeing 747SP aircraft and oversaw record-breaking missions such as the flight of the solar-powered Helios aircraft. He was also involved in the development of NASA’s X-57 Maxwell, an all-electric aircraft.

McBride is excited about his new role at Supernal and is looking forward to helping bring the company’s eVTOL vehicle to market by 2028. The SA-2 air taxi is a four-passenger aircraft with a V-tail that operates with a distributed electric propulsion system and features eight tiltrotors. It has a cruising speed of 104kt and is designed for flights ranging between 25 to 40 km.

Supernal plans to leverage Hyundai’s manufacturing capabilities to scale production of the eVTOL and draw on the company’s expertise in designing smart cars. The company aims to conduct a first flight with a technology demonstrator by the end of 2024 and have a production prototype assembled by 2026.

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