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Supernal Appoints David McBride Chief Technology Officer

Former NASA director to oversee Supernal’s eVTOL development for 2028 commercial service

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IRVINE, CALIF., March 25, 2024 – Supernal LLC – Hyundai Motor Group’s Advanced Air Mobility (AAM) company – today announced the appointment of David McBride as Chief Technology Officer (CTO). McBride will lead Supernal’s technology strategy and vehicle development, reporting 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,” said Jaiwon Shin, president of Hyundai Motor Group and CEO of Supernal. “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 program management and organizational leadership to Supernal’s Engineering and Technology Division (ETD). 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 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.

“I am honored to join Supernal to help certify and commercialize an aircraft that our team has been working toward for the past several years,” said 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, specializing in digital flight control systems analysis.

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About Supernal

Supernal (Su·per·nal) is an Advanced Air Mobility company that’s developing an electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) vehicle and the ground-to-air ecosystem to support the emerging industry. As part of Hyundai Motor Group, Supernal is harnessing world-class manufacturing, automation, supply chain and R&D expertise to make this new, efficient transportation option widely accessible in the coming decades. Simply put: Rather than being first to market, we’re building the right product and right market, first. Visit Supernal’s newsroom site for more information and follow us on LinkedIn.