Magpie Aviation Announces Inaugural Advisory Board Members: Patrick Edmond and Roei Ganzarski
San Francisco, July 24, 2023 – Magpie Aviation, a pioneering electric aviation startup, today announced Patrick Edmond and Roei Ganzarski as the inaugural members of its Advisory Board. The board will play a pivotal role in guiding the company's strategic decisions, technological advancements, and industry partnerships.
Magpie is developing the first zero-emission solution for flights of 1,000 miles and beyond. Electric aircraft are highly efficient and cheap to operate. However, due to the limited energy density of batteries, they cannot cover the distances or carry the number of passengers required to address the bulk of aviation emissions. Magpie addresses this through a modern twist on aerotowing – a century-old approach commonly used in glider flying. Magpie aerotowing works by connecting an electric cargo or passenger plane with a high-performance electric tow aircraft in-flight. The tow aircraft can be safely swapped out en route to enable longer-distance journeys. The aerotowing technology is highly scalable to different aircraft sizes and has wide applications in commercial aviation and military logistics.
Magpie has been focused on demonstrating the technical, economic, and regulatory feasibility of aerotowing. The team has already conducted several successful crewed flight tests with prototype aircraft. The company is a program of record with the FAA Center for Emerging Concepts and Innovation to develop its path toward certification. It has also engaged a leading consultancy to collaborate on comprehensive economic analyses that demonstrate the competitiveness of the aerotowing approach.
With this foundation in place, Magpie has established an Advisory Board to help guide its further development. The company's first two advisors are Patrick Edmond and Roei Ganzarski, both experienced leaders with strong contributions to the aviation and aerospace sectors.
Patrick Edmond is the Managing Director of the strategic aviation consultancy Altair Advisory. He was formerly a board member of the European Regions Airline Association, Group Strategy Director for Shannon Airport, and General Manager Commercial for the airline CityJet. A "recovering network planner," Patrick brings unique commercial and network planning experience to Magpie, along with deep involvement in the sustainable aviation sector in Europe.
Roei Ganzarski, the CEO of Alitheon, an optical-AI company, is a veteran of the traditional and electric aerospace sectors, having served as CEO of magniX, a leading electric propulsion company, as Executive Chairman of Eviation, the developer of the world's first all-electric regional aircraft, and in various leadership roles at The Boeing Company. He also sits on the advisory council of Georgia Tech's Daniel Guggenheim School of Aerospace Engineering. Having been at the forefront of the development of commercial electric aircraft, Roei will empower the Magpie team with a rare combination of strategic, technical and commercial guidance.
"Patrick and Roei share our vision for the future of sustainable aviation and the role electric aircraft will play in decarbonizing air travel," said Damon Vander Lind, co-founder and CEO of Magpie Aviation. "Their deep perspective on both the current and future aviation industry will be invaluable in guiding Magpie's journey toward this vision."
Patrick Edmond said, "Sustainable aviation needs all the innovation it can get - there's no single magic bullet. Electric aircraft have great promise but are seriously limited in range. That's why I think Magpie Aviation's concept is so intriguing. I’m thrilled to be working hands-on with the team to advance this new category of solutions for the industry."
Roei Ganzarski said, "I am excited to be joining Magpie as an advisor. The company is taking a very bold, innovative, and disruptive approach to enabling and extending the range of otherwise limited aircraft. I love working with leaders who are not afraid to challenge the status quo and ask ‘why not?’"
About Magpie Aviation
Magpie Aviation is enabling long-range, zero-emission flight. The Magpie approach works by towing an electric plane through the sky with a battery-filled tow aircraft. For longer routes, the tow aircraft can be safely swapped out en route, enabling electric aircraft to cover ranges that tackle the bulk of commercial aviation emissions.
Magpie is already conducting crewed flight tests that demonstrate the safety and reliability of the towing technology. The team brings together experience from Google/Alphabet X, Beta Technologies, Kittyhawk, Textron, the US Air Force, Airbus and Cathay Pacific Airways. Collectively, they have helped to design, test and fly 20 aircraft programs.
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