Published by the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA), the world's largest technical society dedicated to the global aerospace profession.
While working closely together at the Boeing subsidiary Insitu Inc., Gundlach and Hughes' collaboration led to the successful design and development of the Integrator UAS that went on to become the RQ-21A Blackjack program of record for the U.S. Navy. Gundlach served as the lead designer and Insitu's Vice President of Advanced Development, while Hughes was the mechanical design lead. FlightHouse Engineering clients benefit from the synergy of Gundlach and Hughes' deep expertise in UAS design, development and production.
Calder Hughes, PE
VP Engineering, Co-Founder
Calder co-founded Flighthouse Engineering to help bring superior design and engineering to the field of commercial UAS. Calder thrives on challenging design problems, and finding creative solutions that can be practically implemented. Calder started out his career at Insitu, initially working with a small team to redesign the ScanEagle platform for manufacturing and customer deployment. He went on to work closely with Jay to develop the Integrator system, and was the mechanical design lead for that air vehicle. Later at Insitu, Calder initiated and led several fuel cell development projects. Calder joined the team at Zee.Aero where he contributed to the conceptual design of novel manned aircraft, and designed advanced composite structures. While working at Zee, Calder earned his MSME at Stanford University, where he focused on Product Development Methodologies, particularly as they applied to products aimed at serving the developing world. Calder joined Romotive (which later became Zipline), where he led the development of the air vehicle, from concept and sizing through initial production.
Jay Gundlach, Ph.D.
Driven by his lifelong passion for aircraft design, Jay co-founded FlightHouse Engineering LLC to provide clients with exceptional services in aircraft design, UAS product development, and strategy. He has worked with numerous UAS prime contractors, suppliers, universities and government program offices over the course of his career. Notable positions include Director of Conceptual Design at Aurora Flight Sciences and Insitu’s VP of Advanced Development. Jay is a prolific UAS designer who has helped develop over 35 unique UAS that achieved at least first flight. Notable projects include inventing and leading the development of the Insitu Integrator (now the RQ-21A Blackjack) and leading the Aurora Flight Sciences Orion Ultra-Long Endurance UAS. Jay has provided leadership on numerous proposal efforts for DoD programs with a very high win rate. He regularly invents enabling technologies, which has led to five UAS patents. As a foremost UAS expert, he has written three authoritative books on UAS design, technologies, and missions (see below). Jay holds a Ph.D. in Aerospace Engineering from Virginia Tech.
Mechanical Design Engineer
Chad joined FlightHouse Engineering in order to merge his creative design solutions and detailed analytic engineering approach into the growing commercial UAS market. Specializing in composite airframe structures and electro-mechanical integration, Chad joined FlightHouse after starting his career at Insitu, where he worked to lead the RQ-21 airframe through the transition from initial contract award to a successful full-rate production decision. Chad also brings experience in environmental design and testing, structural NDT/I, and payload subsystem integration. Chad holds a Master's degree in Aerospace Engineering and a BS in Mechanical Engineering from Cornell University.