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Robert Parks

Senior Technical Fellow, eVTOL Chief Engineer, Aurora Flight Sciences

Mr. Parks has been involved with unmanned aircraft for over 35 years.   He is currently a Senior Technical Fellow at Aurora Flight Sciences and Chief Engineer on their electric VTOL urban air taxi programs.


Previously, he was a senior engineer at working on electric VTOL aircraft, and prior to that, he was Chief Aircraft Designer at Aurora, and involved with numerous designs, both VTOL and conventional aircraft.


In addition, he was a designer on the MIT Daedalus and Chrysalis human-powered airplanes, multiple Mars Aircraft, submersible aircraft, solar powered aircraft and the F-117 stealth fighter. He was a designer on the Aerosonde UAV, which was the first unmanned aircraft to cross the Atlantic Ocean, in 1998, completing the 2000 mile crossing using only 1 gallon of gasoline.  He was also chief designer of the current world record holder for the Red Bull Flugtag.


He is an Associate Fellow in the AIAA, and holds 19 US patents.  He has degrees in Aeronautical Engineering from MIT and Stanford and is a veteran of the U. S. Coast Guard.


Aurora Flight Sciences is a leader in the development and manufacturing of advanced unmanned systems and aerospace vehicles. We are headquartered in Manassas, Virginia and operate production plants in Bridgeport, West Virginia and Columbus, Mississippi. Aurora has Research and Development Centers in Cambridge, Massachusetts, Dayton, Ohio and Mountain View, California, and a European office, Aurora Swiss Aerospace, located in Luzern, Switzerland.


Some current Aurora projects include the Orion UAV, capable of 5 days endurance with a 1000 pound payload, the Centaur optionally piloted aircraft, the D8 high efficiency airliner concept, which reduces fuel burn by 70% compared to current aircraft, the Lightning Strike hybrid electric large, high speed VTOL aircraft for DARPA, as well as autonomous aircraft projects such as the ALIAS robotic co-pilot and the ACCUS autonomous helicopter conversion with advanced obstacle avoidance capability.