xCraft Enterprises, a manufacturer of purpose-designed drone systems which gained fame with a deal on ABC’s Shark Tank, has announced the appointment of legendary aviation and space pioneer Burt Rutan to its Board of Directors. Rutan, a world-renowned aeronautical engineer will provide expertise in the design, prototyping and production of xCraft flying robots for commercial, industrial and defense applications.
“We are honored to welcome Mr. Rutan to the xCraft Team,” said JD Claridge, CEO and co-founder of the company. “He will be an incredible asset in advancing our autonomous flight technology and assisting to expand our product line to address specific needs of commercial customers and our U.S. government organizations. He particularly shares our vision for applying our technology to disrupt transportation as we know it.”
After accepting xCraft’s offer to serve on the Board of Directors, Mr. Rutan said: “I’m looking forward to advising xCraft’s innovative team during a period of rapid expansion in our country’s use of autonomous flight systems and in the emerging urban air mobility space. My philosophy is that the best ideas come from the collaborative efforts of small, closely knit project teams in an environment unlimited by risk fears - and I will assist xCraft’s leadership to ensure we are a best-idea-factory.”
“With the addition of Burt to our board, and the November product launch of our new quad-rotor, the Maverick, xCraft is taking big steps toward realizing our longer-term objectives,” Claridge offered in closing.
About Burt Rutan: As the founder of two aircraft research firms, the most aggressive aerospace research companies in the world, Mr. Rutan has developed a large variety of groundbreaking projects, showcasing some of the most innovative and energy-efficient designs ever flown. Time named him one of the top 100 most influential people of 2005. Described by Newsweek as “the man responsible for more innovations in modern aviation than any living engineer,” Burt Rutan is an aircraft designer with a vision for the advancement of technology. In 2004, Mr. Rutan joined a highly distinguished company of innovators as the designer/developer of SpaceShipOne, the world’s first privately built manned spacecraft to reach space. The research program was funded by Paul Allen. He won the $10 million Ansari X Prize, the competition created to spur the development of affordable space tourism. Mr. Rutan is the winner of the Presidential Citizen’s Medal, the Charles A. Lindbergh Award, and is a two-time individual winner of the Robert J. Collier Trophy, given by the National Aeronautic Association for significant advances in aviation history. He is the only one alive with two Colliers. Mr. Rutan designed/developed the Voyager, the first aircraft to circle the world non-stop without refueling. Repeating that feat, his company developed the GlobalFlyer, which broke the Voyager’s record time for a non-refueled, solo flight around the world. Those aircraft remain the only ones with non-refueled world flight capability and they had to more than double the range of previous record holders. His company also developed the Ultralite, an all-composite 100 mile-per-gallon show car for general Motors.
xCraft Enterprises is America’s drone company. Based in Idaho, xCraft designs and manufactures customized flying robots for enterprise and military segments. xCraft partners with companies in defense, energy, security, public safety, and geo-spatial markets to develop tailored applications that solve real-world problems.