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our story

Check out the Royal Aeronautical Society's Review of Gundlach's Book on Civil and Commercial Unmanned Aircraft Systems

Jay Gundlach, Ph.D.

President, Co-Founder
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.  

Key Skills:

  • Unmanned Aircraft Subject Matter Expert
  • Aircraft design and product definition
  • Proposal leadership and strategy

Sharing a vision to provide clients with exceptional end-to-end UAS consulting services, Gundlach and Hughes joined forces and co-founded FlightHouse Engineering.

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.  

our Team

Jay Gundlach's

three authoritative UAS books

  • Designing Unmanned Aircraft Systems , A Comprehensive Approach
  • Civil and Commercial Unmanned Aircraft Systems
  • Unmanned Aircraft Systems Innovation at the Naval Research Laboratory

Published by the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA), the world's largest technical society dedicated to the global aerospace profession. ​

unmatched expertise.

Chad Kossar
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 an M.S. degree in  Aerospace Engineering and a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Cornell University.

Sayer Fisher
Mechanical Design Engineer

Sayer joined FlightHouse Engineering to combine his experience in aerospace design and engineering with his desire to innovate and create unique solutions to solve current problems and open up new opportunities.  Specializing in design of transformative vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) flight vehicles, Sayer joined FlightHouse after beginning his career at Unreal Worx, where he led design and engineering efforts on various commercial VTOL UAS platforms from conception to production, as well as multiple NASA contract projects.  Sayer also brings experience in structural design, electric and hybrid-electric power systems, controls, flight testing, and subsystem integration.  Sayer holds a BS in Aerospace Engineering from Virginia Tech.

Katharine "Katie" Gundlach, CPA

Dir. Business Operations, Co-Founder
Thrilled to be a part of the FlightHouse Engineering Team from the ground up, Katie oversees the company's accounting and business operations.  Katie previously worked for KPMG LLP and served as an independent accounting consultant for Insitu.  She holds a Master's degree in Accounting, with a specialization in Accounting Information Systems, and a BS in Accounting from Virginia Tech.         

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.  

Key Skills:

  • Product development and design methodology
  • Aircraft structures and composites
  • Detailed mechanical design
  • Design for manufacturability