David McBride joins Supernal as its Chief Technology Officer to lead the development of its eVTOL aircraft

Super­nal – Hyundai Motor Group’s Advanced Air Mobil­i­ty (AAM) com­pa­ny – has announced the appoint­ment of David McBride as Chief Tech­nol­o­gy Offi­cer (CTO).

McBride brings more than 40 years of expe­ri­ence in devel­op­ing ground­break­ing aero­space tech­nol­o­gy, com­plex pro­gram man­age­ment and orga­ni­za­tion­al lead­er­ship to Supernal’s Engi­neer­ing and Tech­nol­o­gy Divi­sion (ETD). In his new role, he lead Super­nal’s tech­nol­o­gy strat­e­gy and vehi­cle devel­op­ment, while over­see­ing the company’s 400 ETD employ­ees work­ing on vehi­cle engi­neer­ing, test­ing, eval­u­a­tion, cer­ti­fi­ca­tion and R&D.

Jai­won Shin, pres­i­dent of Hyundai Motor Group and CEO of Super­nal, said: “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.

“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 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.

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 per­cent 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 pro­gram 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.

Com­ment­ing on his new appoint­ment, McBride added: “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. 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.”

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Jason Pritchard

Jason Pritchard is the Editor of eVTOL Insights. He holds a BA from Leicester's De Montfort University and has worked in Journalism and Public Relations for more than a decade. Outside of work, Jason enjoys playing and watching football and golf. He also has a keen interest in Ancient Egypt.

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