news unmanned aircraft provider to establish manassas facility
Local/Virginia

Unmanned aircraft provider to establish Manassas facility

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RapidFlight, an integrated end-to-end unmanned aircraft systems provider founded in 2021, will invest $5.5 million to open a facility in Manassas.

Dr. Jay Gundlach founded the company, which “prides itself on its ability to aggressively respond to mission requirements and to dramatically reduce the time from concept to mission,” according to a press release.

The 25,000-square-foot facility will be at 9617 Center Street and create 119 jobs with headquarters, design and production operations.

“Virginia is an important state, providing unique access to decision makers, a world-class workforce, unmanned test infrastructure and an advanced materials industry,” Gundlach, RapidFlight’s Chief Executive Officer, said in a press release. “Thanks to its central location on the East Coast, we can readily work face-to-face with our government customers while also leveraging Virginia’s Unmanned Systems’ infrastructure to conduct operations and test our systems, rapidly delivering new capabilities to our nation. There is something for everyone in Virginia whether you love history, exploring nearby parks or attending a local concert or sporting event. It is a beautiful state to live, work and raise a family. RapidFlight is proud to be a Virginia company.”

RapidFlight’s high-performance systems are designed and engineered to meet the evolving national security and private sector demands of the United States and its allies, according to a press release.

“Virginia is uniquely positioned to lead the unmanned systems industry, and RapidFlight is on the cutting edge of developments in this innovative technology sector. We look forward to supporting the company’s growth in the City of Manassas,” Governor Glenn Youngkin said in the press release. “Since day one we’ve declared that Virginia is open for business, and businesses such as RapidFlight are a prime example of the success and growth that businesses can achieve in the Commonwealth.”

The Virginia Economic Development Partnership and the City of Manassas worked together to secure the project for Virginia and funding for job creation will come from the Virginia Jobs Investment Program (VJIP).

“RapidFlight’s advances in the unmanned aerospace industry and the creation of 119 jobs of the future deserve recognition, and we are proud of the company’s vision and success,” Secretary of Commerce and Trade Caren Merrick said in the press release. “The ability to recruit top talent is the lifeblood of forward-thinking businesses in the Commonwealth, and we look forward to supporting RapidFlight’s job creation in this next phase of growth.”

Manassas Mayor Michelle Davis Younger said that the company’s decision to create headquarters in the city “further cements our city’s position as a leader in the design and production of unmanned aerial systems. Our skilled workforce, industry-leading companies and community assets, like the busiest general aviation airport in Virginia, all combine to make Manassas a world-class destination for businesses and residents alike.”

Rebecca Barnabi

Rebecca J. Barnabi is the national editor of Augusta Free Press. A graduate of the University of Mary Washington, she began her journalism career at The Fredericksburg Free-Lance Star. In 2013, she was awarded first place for feature writing in the Maryland, Delaware, District of Columbia Awards Program, and was honored by the Virginia School Boards Association’s 2019 Media Honor Roll Program for her coverage of Waynesboro Schools. Her background in newspapers includes writing about features, local government, education and the arts.