Pioneers of Electric Flight
VerdeGo Aero™ was founded in 2017 to accelerate the electrification of flight. The three founders had years of experience with hybrid-electric and battery-electric aircraft that led them to see the need for powerplant technologies to enable this entire emerging market. VerdeGo began developing both powertrain technologies and proprietary modeling tools to understand the unique design space created by electrification, new missions, and new aircraft architectures.
A MAJOR DEVELOPMENT
As VerdeGo analyzed dozens of different aircraft designs with hundreds of mission profiles, the unique propulsion needs of electric flight came into focus. A combination of new electrification technologies and liquid fuels provided the highest performance and best ability to comply with demanding commercial flight regulations. Liquid fuels are 20X more energy dense than batteries resulting in transformational capability improvements. Electric motors enable aircraft to be designed to be more efficient and to be capable of new missions by merging thrust, attitude control, and active control of aerodynamics. Hybrid-electric powerplants emerged as the link between these two capabilities, to make electrification practical.
REFINING HYBRID PROPULSION
The electric aircraft market needs powerplants that are efficient, high performance, and compatible with both current and future infrastructure. VerdeGo built its first “iron bird” powertrain around an aviation diesel engine to leverage the ultra-high efficiency of diesel cycle engines and compatibility with global jet fuel infrastructure. A second generation of more refined development powerplants soon followed, and VerdeGo has now completed more than 200 hours of full-scale testing during more than 600 tests. Pre-production powerplants developed for test flight of customer aircraft have already been delivered.
PRODUCTION HYBRID POWERPLANTS
The iron bird and second-generation diesel-cycle hybrids led to VerdeGo’s VH-3-185 powerplant. This high-efficiency system converts jet fuel into electric power such that new electric aircraft designs can improve range up to 6X+, improve payload, and be compatible with existing energy infrastructure. The VH-3 is currently under development with a continuous electrical power output of 185kW and the ability to be operated in multiple modes depending on the requirements of our customers’ aircraft. Larger-scale hybrid powerplants involving turbine engines are also under development for continuous power output well above 1MW.
HYBRID POWER intersects with SUSTAINABLE FUELS
Liquid fuels are an almost ideal way to package energy for aviation. They have high energy density, consistent performance from the first drop to the last drop, compatibility with existing infrastructure, and the fuel tank doesn’t shrink over time the way battery capacity does. Innovators around the world have been developing sustainable alternatives to jet fuel that have substantially reduced or even zero net carbon emissions. Sustainable Aviation Fuels (SAF) have been seen by many to be a competing approach to sustainability when compared to electrification. However, VerdeGo recognized that hybrid-electric systems are the missing link that connects high-performance sustainable fuels with high-efficiency airframes designed around electric motors. The highest performance, most useful results arise from connecting both innovations. VerdeGo is now working with leaders in SAF development to ensure that its hybrid powerplants are capable of running on this new class of sustainable liquid fuel.
OUR CORE TEAM
Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer
Eric is the architect of the VerdeGo Aero™ business model. His background includes executive General Management experience at $250M+ businesses along with extensive expertise commercializing new innovations. Eric co-founded Powering Imagination to promote clean, quiet electric flight. At Yuneec/GWI he led development, flight test, and marketing; and he was responsible for the first formation electric aircraft team at AirVenture 2013. Eric is a commercial, instrument, airplane, and glider pilot with flight experience in electric planes.
Co-Founder and Executive Chairman
Erik's MTP (Massively Transformative Purpose) in life is to escape from gravity. In 2002 Erik retraced his grandfather’s epic 1927 New York to Paris flight with a mission to help jump-start the private spaceflight industry. Mission accomplished, he refocused on electric propulsion to make general aviation clean and quiet. VerdeGo Aero™ is the culmination of this decade of work. Erik serves on the board of the XPRIZE Foundation and is the Chairman of the Board for the Lindbergh Foundation. Erik holds a commercial pilot certificate, is a flight instructor, and holds a glider rating. He is also a co-host of The Lindberghs podcast.
DR. PAT ANDERSON
Co-Founder and Chief Technology Officer
Dr. Anderson created the technology that enables the Urban Air Mobility future. He is Director of the Eagle Flight Research Center at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University specializing in: new vehicle concepts, advanced flight controls, and novel certification strategies. He led the world’s first piston gas/electric hybrid aircraft program and was recognized as Researcher of the Year. Dr. Anderson holds an airline transport pilot rating, is a flight Instructor, and is also rated as an airframe and power plant mechanic.
VP of Product Development
Dave supported the EcoCAR hybrid vehicle project, and was project manager for the Embry-Riddle Advanced Aerodynamics Laboratory and Wind Tunnel, taking the project from concept through a formal Market Study, detailed design, building construction, and tunnel installation and commissioning. In 2019, Spitzer moved to Eagle Flight Research Center and the center of a multi-million dollar program to create a complete hybrid-electric powerplant for the Boeing HorizonX team. In one year, the team executed design, procurement, assembly, test, and validation meeting every requirement and metric on time and under budget. While at VerdeGo Aero, Dave has led the product development team to execute hybrid powerplant programs, lithium ion battery pack development, and research into noise and sustainable fuels. Dave holds a BS in Mechanical Engineering from Cornell University, and an MBA from Walsh College in Troy, MI.
Director of Advanced Concepts
David has a long history of aerospace business development and engineering leadership. At the Lockheed Martin Skunk Works, David led both engineering teams as well as business development for programs in new markets. David was involved with multiple early UAV programs including the Desert Hawk, and he also played a key role in the Hybrid Airship program. At Horizon Hobby, as VP of Air Category Product Development David led a team of 17 product developers and engineers to deliver 50-70 new small-scale aircraft, helicopter, and drone designs per year to the hobby aviation market, requiring rapid development of complex projects. He was also responsible for global vendor relationships and had P&L responsibility for a portfolio of brands. At VerdeGo David leads the regulatory & certification process for VerdeGo’s powertrain systems and leads VerdeGo’s business development activities. David holds a bachelor’s degree in Aeronautical Engineering from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and an MBA from UCLA.
Director of Marketing and Operations
Matt has a long history of Engineering and a diverse background in Aviation, Healthcare, Paralegal Studies and Continuous Improvement. Matt’s career started as a quality and process engineer for Perkin-Elmer Belfab and EG&G overseeing all quality and process functions in the areas of Aerospace, Medical and Ultra High Vacuum. At VerdeGo Matt leads purchasing and receiving, supply chain management, and human resource efforts including payroll and benefits coordination. Matt also leads marketing efforts which include website production, press releases on product information and partnerships. Other responsibilities include general accounting, property insurance maintenance, contract review, contract negotiations and NDA agreements with various customer’s, vendor’s, and potential investors. Matt is a certified Lean Six Sigma Green Belt and Certified Lean Black Belt from (IISE) The Institute of Industrial Systems and Engineers. Matt holds a and Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and Master of Science in Technical Management from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.