RapidFlight, a new unmanned aircraft manufacturer backed by venture capital, will establish a base in Manassas, according to a Friday announcement.

RapidFlight’s Chief Executive Officer Dr. Jay Gundlach praised Virginia in the announcement: “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.”

Gundlach founded RapidFlight in 2021, and the company is focused on national security and private sector applications for 50 unique unmanned air systems platforms touted in the Friday press release. The $5.5 million investment into the 25,000-square-foot facility will create 119 jobs. The company will be supported by the Virginia Jobs Investment Program, which provides funding and consultation services to support and incentivize companies to create new jobs.

“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.”

“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. “Since day one we’ve declared that Virginia is open for business, and businesses such as RapidFlight is a prime example of the success and growth that businesses can achieve in the Commonwealth.”

Local legislators and officials praised the announcement, including Manassas Mayor Michelle Davis Younger.

“RapidFlight locating in Manassas further cements our city’s position as a leader in the design and production of unmanned aerial systems,” Younger said. “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.”


Eric Burk is a reporter at The Virginia Star and The Star News NetworkThis article originally appeared in The Virginia Star. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the positions of The Republican Standard. Republished with permission.