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Supernal, LLC

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McBride joins Supernal as CTO
Former NASA director David McBride will oversee Supernal’s eVTOL development for entry into commercial service in 2028.
Chief technology office David McBride.

Supernal, Hyundai Motor Group's AA) company, has appointed David McBride as CTO, to lead technology strategy and vehicle development. He will report to CEO Jaiwon Shin.

"Following the debut of our product concept earlier this year, Supernal has entered a new phase of our advanced air mobility business where we turn our innovative vehicle concepts into commercially sound and safe all-electric aircraft," says Shin. "David has spent his career making the impossible possible in aviation, leading numerous successful missions at NASA, and we are eager for him to help lead Supernal in bringing our scalable eVTOL vehicle to market in 2028."

McBride brings more than 40 years of experience in developing groundbreaking aerospace technology, complex programme management and organisational leadership to Supernal's engineering and technology division. In his new role, he will oversee the company's 400 ETD employees working on vehicle engineering, testing, evaluation, certification and R&D.

At NASA, McBride served as the director of the Armstrong Flight Research Center. During his tenure, he led the Center in achieving full operational capability of the Boeing 747SP aircraft, which carried a telescope into the stratosphere, allowing astronomers to observe the infrared universe above 99 per cent of Earth's infrared-blocking atmosphere. He also led the development of NASA's all-electric aircraft and safely conducted global operations for NASA's Earth science missions. As programme manager for NASA's Flight Research Program, McBride was integral to expanding aerospace knowledge and capabilities, including the record-breaking flight of the solar-powered Helios aircraft to an altitude of more than 96,000 feet.

"I am honoured to join Supernal to help certify and commercialise an aircraft that our team has been working toward for the past several years," says McBride. "It is an exciting time as we transition from the engineering design phase to the build and execution phases. We have an impressive 'production-minded' team, and we look forward to taking our first flight later this year."

McBride received his bachelor's degree in electrical engineering and an executive master's degree in business administration from the University of New Mexico. He began his career at NASA as a cooperative education student, specialising in digital flight control systems analysis.

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