XTI Aircraft Company has appointed veteran industry executive Charlie Johnson as its chief operating officer. He joins after four years as a member of its board of directors, and will retain this position, and was also the company's interim CEO during 2016.
CEO Robert LaBelle says: “Charlie has already made significant contributions to the company through his active role as a director. This is excellent timing for him to take over as COO and help bring the revolutionary TriFan 600 vertical take off aircraft to the business aircraft market.”
Johnson adds: “I'm looking forward to my broader participation and expanding committment with XTI. The Tri-Fan, as a long-range vertical take off and business aircraft, definitely will play a major role in what truly represents the future of flight. We are on a strong trajectory and accelerating path to reach our goals.”
“As the former president and COO of Cessna Aircraft and as a member of The Living Legends of Aviation and The Colorado and Kansas Aviation Halls of Fame, Charlie is truly a legend in the business,” notes XTI founder and chairman David Brody. “We're looking forward to his taking on this important role in the company, as well as his continuing contributions and guidance as a board member.”
XTI issued an update on its TriFan 600 operations back in August, when LaBelle said: “We conducted a series of successful initial hover tests earlier this year, we have a major collaboration with GE Aviation and we've received 81 orders for the aircraft so far. That represents over a half billion dollars in gross revenues upon delivery.”
The six-seat aircraft will have the speed, range and comfort of a luxury business aircraft and the ability to take off and land vertically, like a helicopter. It will travel at 345 miles an hour with a range of up to 1,400 miles. It lifts off vertically using three ducted fans, and its two wing fans then rotate forward for a transition to cruise speed and initial climb. It will reach 30,000 ft in just ten minutes and cruise to the destination.
The company has also signed a term sheet with a lead investor for a minimum of $17 million and maximum of $29 million financing. Closing is tentatively scheduled for January 2020. “We're optimistic that this term sheet will lead to fully funding and closing our Series B round,” concludes LaBelle.