Each of the key participants in this initiative are highlighted below.
The following organizational summaries and high-level bios of key management, consultants and contributors follow:
Jon Rimanelli is Founder and CEO of Detroit Aircraft, LLC.
Mr. Rimanelli is an electronics entrepreneur and private pilot with over 1,000 hours of flight time (SEL, SES, IFR). In early 2000, he founded Nextronix, Inc. to provide PCB design, fabrication, and contract assembly solutions. Mr. Rimanelli developed several automotive multi-band Intelligent Transportation System antennae in partnership with Motorola and Wieson Technologies. Nextronix is actively working with Wieson Technologies to develop automotive Driver Assist Systems to include Around View Monitoring, Forward Collision Avoidance, Lane Departure Warning Systems, Blind Spot Detection, and Rear View Sensing. Mr. Rimanelli is also the founder of Detroit Air Racing Inc., the facilitator of the 2008 Detroit Red Bull Air Races, which resulted in over $100 million in economic impact to Detroit and Windsor over the three years the event was hosted on the Detroit River. The event raised the awareness of a paradigm shift taking place in air travel (NextGen), and how Detroit’s industrial base could be repurposed to provide solutions in NextGen Air Mobility. Mr. Rimanelli is a Board Member of the Michigan SATS Lab, a NASA led, non-profit aircraft technology consortium in Troy, Mi. to leverage automotive design and manufacturing processes to produce low-cost air taxis to network the nation’s 20,000 airports. In 2011, Detroit Aircraft Corp. was re-chartered to research and develop NextGen aircraft to include small unmanned aerial systems (UAS) for surveillance, freight, and optionally piloted aircraft for passenger transportation. In September of 2012, Mr. Rimanelli help establish the Michigan Unmanned Aerial Systems Consortium (MI-UAS) Board of Directors. In January 2013, SeaTec, a Detroit Aircraft consultant, was selected to facilitate Unmanned Systems integration in Michigan.
M. Todd Sedlak – Director of Sales
Todd Sedlak has been operating small UAS since their inception with the US military. In 2005 he flew over 250 combat missions in Iraq on small fixed wing systems. Since that time, he has worked with multiple major defense contractors on the development, integration, and application of small UAS both in the United States and abroad. As a former soldier, firefighter, and EMT, Todd brings a wealth of experience from a background in tactical and emergency services allowing him to understand the unique needs of our customers when it comes to unmanned systems.
Paolo Bianchi – Aerospace / Software Engineer
Paolo Bianchi, a computer science graduate student, and aerospace engineering undergraduate from the University of Michigan. The VoltAir was the result of the 2011 Detroit Aircraft Corporation aircraft design challenge. This concept was the winner of the challenge showing the best innovation and technical feasibility for a new revolutionary air vehicle with high market potential. Paolo is leading the development of the VAX freight delivery vehicle, as well as the VA100 Passenger Vehicle.
Bill Edds – System Engineer
Mr. Edds is currently a junior at Oakland University, where he is studying electrical engineering. He became involved with multirotors in 2014 when he joined the Aerial Systems Club at Oakland, where he currently resides as the clubs president. Mr. Ebbs works on engineering and system integrations projects at Detroit Aircraft.
Sean Haggerty – Office and Finance Manager
Mr. Haggerty has over 20 years experience in the finance and Legal collections industry. Led major credit and lending initiatives at Ford Motor Credit Co. with the Metro area Detroit Ford Dealers. While at Asset Acceptance, led collection team transformation through company buyout in non-hostile takeover.
Hartford Matthews – Marketing/Business Development
Marketing and Business Development expert with over 15 years of experience serving as a managerial representative in sales processing, product knowledge, client needs analysis, marketing, and strategic business planning. Mr. Matthews is also a private pilot and with an instrument rating. Mr. Matthews provides application business development and marketing support.
Prashant Singh – Director of Electronic Manufacturing
Prashant Singh is the Director of Manufacturing at Detroit Aircraft. Prior to this position, Singh held a general Manager position at Youngtronics Llc. Earlier in his career, Singh was Sales Manager at Saturn Electronics Corp. Engineering Manager in India for Dentsply Inc. and held various field positions in engineering and service at Wipro Ltd. An electronic engineer with a bachelor’s degree from the Amravati University, Singh began his career in 1989
working for Boehringer Mannheim in India as service engineer for the Biomedical Division.
Sandy Munro, CEO, Munro & Associates in Troy, MI
One of the pioneers in the application of design for assembly (DFA)/design for manufacturability (DFM) principles, Sandy Munro founded his consulting firm, Munro & Associates, Inc., in 1988 to help North American manufacturers harness the power of concurrent engineering/DFM to reach new levels of global competitiveness. Munro & Associates, Inc. has helped manufacturers of all types of products — from airplanes to toys, appliances to medical devices, automobiles to electronics — save an estimated $9 billion and retain or return to North America some 65,000 jobs. Also, his company’s service portfolio has expanded to include a number of interrelated tools to help manufacturing companies succeed, including ergonomics consulting, competitive benchmarking, strategic product planning, value analysis/value-engineering services, and the Quality Report Card, which can help companies reach six sigma quality levels.
With more than 26 years of experience in designing, building, and processing components, Sandy brings clients an unmatched breadth of experience gained in manufacturing and engineering disciplines. In addition to his extensive background in manufacturing, engineering, and automation, Sandy brings a contagious enthusiasm, an unchecked curiosity, a fresh and unique perspective, and a never-say-die attitude — all key to the team-building needed for successful concurrent engineering. He believes teamwork, not technology, is the most important success factor for a manufacturing company.
Dr. Bruce J. Holmes
Dr. Holmes is CEO and Chief Strategy Officer of NextGen AeroSciences, LLC, and the principal in Holmes Consulting, LLC. His companies service a variety of industry, government, and university clients in strategy, technology, aviation software and systems development, as well as in public-private partnership design and operations. He consults for several boards of directors and advisory councils in industry, government, and academia, including service on the FAA Administrator’s Research, Engineering, and Development Advisory Committee.
In 2007, Holmes joined DayJet Corporation, supporting the launch of the industry’s first per-seat, on-demand air carrier. Holmes served as Chief Strategist, linking the internal and external technical strategies, public-private collaborations, and alliances in support of the scalable expansion of the DayJet business model. Prior to joining DayJet, Dr. Holmes retired from 33 years with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration as their Chief Strategist. As a member of the federal Senior Executive Service, Holmes served in the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy on national air transportation system strategies, and he led in the strategic development of the U.S. Joint Planning and Development Office (JPDO, which focused on the Next Generation Air Transportation System [NextGen]). He also led the creation of the NASA AGATE (Advanced General Aviation Transport Experiments) Alliance and the SATS (Small Aircraft Transportation System) programs, which were instrumental in the transformation of the General Aviation industry over the past decade. He designed and operated innovative governance processes for these large-scale public-private partnerships.
Dr. Holmes is known domestically and internationally for his strategic leadership in the emergence of small aircraft and community airports for public transportation, as well as his championship for strategies affecting future generations of air transportation vehicles, airspace systems, and airports. Holmes has been involved in a full spectrum of aeronautics research, from fluid physics to network science implications for transportation systems. He has directed several research programs, fostering the technological foundations on which several new aviation companies have been formed. His work has spanned aircraft types from Ag-cats (a biplane crop duster), to general aviation transportation aircraft to hypersonic vehicles. Holmes’s championing the Highway in the Sky concept was the focus of an CBS 60 Minutes program; he has also appeared on the Discovery Channel, the History Channel, in NASA’s educational programming, and in numerous national news broadcasts. His work in communications led to both a Crystal and Emmy awards for NASA. James Fallows chronicled his contributions to the creation of the emerging space in the market for personal air mobility in the book, Free Flight – Reinventing Air Travel.
Holmes has published over seventy-five technical papers, received four patents, and been honored with numerous NASA medals and professional society awards, most recently as a member of the team receiving the prestigious Collier Trophy, He is a fellow and past Engineer of the Year in the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics. He was honored for innovation in partnership governance with the Virginia Bar Association Award for “Significant Accomplishment in Aviation Law.” He was also a Harvard Senior Executive Fellow at the JFK School of Government and honored by the University of Kansas on the Aerospace Engineering Alumni Honor Roll. The National Air Transportation Association recognized Holmes with their Award for Distinguished Service to the industry. Holmes is a commercial, multi-engine, Citation type-rated pilot and former flight instructor with forty years civil aviation experience. He and his wife reside in Williamsburg Virginia.
John S. Walker
Mr. DiClemente has over 30 years of experience, as Upper Management and Senior Configuration Specialist/Integration Engineer with extensive experience in multiple disciplines in the development, analysis, testing and certification of major air vehicles. He is a successful businessman and entrepreneur. He is a senior aircraft design generalist and has worked in many areas of aerospace engineering, aircraft design and integration in both commercial and military programs.
He learned to fly as a Naval Officer and is an aircraft owner/operator and holds a B.S.A.E and M.S.A.E in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Michigan. He served as Senior Configuration Specialist at the McDonnell Douglas Corporation (1999 Robert J. Collier Trophy) and was their first certified conceptual designer running many successful programs. There, he developed and managed many new air vehicle and technology programs. He help start Eclipse Aviation, as their first employee, serving as Director of the Integration Services team at Eclipse Aviation and accountable for eight disciplines Aerodynamics, Mass Properties, Human Factors, Safety, Loft, Cost, Configuration Management and Flight Simulation groups. He was the key designer to establish the air vehicle.
He then assisted the U.S. Naval Air Warfare Center as a Program Manager leading the group’s largest program and assisted in the development of new product development expertise to the group. Utilizing his vast technical and managerial new product expertise he formed Air Vehicle Integration, Inc in 1995 a veteran owned aerospace consulting company providing expertise in company new startups, new product design, business planning, and financing among various other disciplines. Some of the past programs include the SeaScout, an unmanned seaworthy air vehicle that was first to autonomously land in history. Additionally he led the design effort of the ICON Aircraft Model A5 amphibian LSA; winner of the 2009 IDEA award (Industrial Design Excellence Award) and the winner of the 2010 Wolf Aviation grant.
I’m an aerospace engineering graduate of the University of Michigan. At Detroit Aircraft, I’m involved in engineering structural design for Unmanned Aerial Vehicles.