Italy-based hybrid-electric V/STOL aircraft developer Manta Aircraft has appointed a new board of directors. Giuseppe Orsi, Fabio Nannoni, Sergio Biganzoli and Eugenio Cremascoli join existing board members CEO Lucas Marchesini, CDO Juanjo Espinosa and COO Michael Mesaric. Each of the incoming board members boasts a proven track record in aviation management, helicopter and aircraft design, and marketing and operations, and their collective experience and vision will play a pivotal role in steering the company through upcoming phases of development and expansion.
A primary focus is to secure the next financing round (currently open) for finalising the platform design, developing core subsystems and producing two 1:1 scale prototypes of the two seater model and drone, based on the ANN hybrid-electric eV/STOL platform with extended range, by the first half of 2025.
CEO Marchesini says: "We are extremely pleased to welcome these aviation heavyweights, who bring valuable expertise and know-how to our company."
After graduating in Aeronautical Engineering at the Polytechnic of Milan, Orsi started in the Italian aero industry in 1973 with SIAI Marchetti. After the firm was incorporated into Agusta, he was appointed to hold a series of key management positions in domestic and international operations, including the joint venture with Bell Helicopters for the BA (then AW) 609 tiltrotor programme. In 2004 he was appointed CEO of AgustaWestland, and in 2011 he became the CEO and chairman of Finmeccanica (now Leonardo), the main Italian hi-tech industrial conglomerate.
Fabio Nannoni received his Master's degree in Aeronautical Engineering from Politecnico di Torino in 1982. During his career he developed more than 50 proprietary codes in the field of helicopter flight science and analysis that are still actively used in the company's design process. He has participated, with increasing responsibility, in the management of complex projects in multinational and multicultural environments such as the: A109 Power; A129 International; definition of the joint venture platforms such as the EH101 (now AW101) and NH90; new AW Family composed of AW139, AW169 and AW189; and tiltrotors - the AW609 and the ERICA advanced configuration. Over the course of a 40 year career in the rotary wing sector, he touched all the disciplines, from preliminary design to the management of DOA and the airworthiness of helicopters in service. As SVP for engineering, Nannoni has led the company's engineering directorate through huge technological challenges, fostering an innovative culture and interfacing internal and external customers and suppliers. In 2019 he was named SVP for safety system governance, creating the new company's safety system in compliance with emerging international rules. In 2021 he was named Honorary Fellow by the RAeS and was selected by the USA's Vertical Flight Society to hold the 41st Nikolsky Lecture. He retired in October 2021.
Biganzoli served as CFO of AgustaWestland for nearly eight years, and brings additional experience in financial management and consultancy, including within the aerospace industry.
Avionord CEO Cremascoli has successfully led several enterprises in the health and medical sectors, from incorporation till maturity: NGC Medical Spa was acquired by Medtronic in 2014 and XVIVO Italy, a spin off of the medical division of Avionord, was acquired by XVIVO in 2023. He currently owns and manages Columbus Clinic in Milano. Since 2008 he has also led the steady growth of Avionord, based at Milan Linate airport and operating seven business jets. Avionord medical division is the main national player in the transportation of transplantation organs.