The Rocketplane Leadership

George French Photo George French
Chief Executive Officer and President

In February 2006, Mr. French acquired a controlling interest in Kistler Aerospace Corp. Prior to Rocketplane’s merger with Kistler, Mr. French served as both President and Chairman of the Board of Rocketplane Global, as well as President of Space Explorers, Inc. Mr. French serves on the board of several aerospace-related organizations including Spaceflight Association of America, Inc., Lunar Research Institute, Inc. and Space Week International. Mr. French has also received a number of awards, including the 2000 NASA AMES Research Astrobiology Team Group Achievement Award, National Space Society, 1997 Entrepreneur of the Year award, and 1995 Aerospace State Association Achievement Award. Mr. French attended the University of Arizona 1963-1967.

David G. Faulkner Photo David G. Faulkner
Chief Technology Officer & Program Manager

Mr. Faulkner leads the development of the Rocketplane XP suborbital space vehicle. Prior to joining Rocketplane he worked with Lockheed Martin Aeronautics since 1998. His last post with Lockheed Martin “Skunk Works” was leading the configuration development on DARPA’s FALCON program. There he co-developed a unique hypersonic vehicle configuration which was instrumental in winning the sole $100+ Million FALCON Phase II award for the company. Mr. Faulkner’s experience as a conceptual and preliminary designer extends to DARPA’s Quiet Supersonic Platform (QSP), Navy’s RATTLRS programs and other Lockheed Martin efforts. Mr. Faulkner started his career in the flight testing realm as test conductor on the F-16 and F-22 programs leading tests that often qualified as “High Risk”. Before transferring from flight test he successfully planned and conducted the first AIM-9 missile shot from the F-22 at the Navy’s China Lake test range. With this experience David brings a wealth of applicable knowledge and skill to the RPGobal team. Mr. Faulkner holds a Bachelor’s in Mechanical Engineering and a Master’s in Aerospace Engineering both from the University of Oklahoma.

Dr. George E. Law Photo Dr. George E. Law
VP & Chief Engineer

Dr. Law comes to RGI from Lockheed Martin Aeronautics in Ft. Worth Texas, where he was the Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company Chief Engineer. Dr. Law was an integral part of the JSF project from cradle-to-grave. As X-35 Chief Engineer, he led the engineering team through design, certification, and execution of the record-setting flight test program at Edwards Air Force Base and Patuxent River Naval Air Station. In 2002, Dr. Law returned to Edwards as Chief Engineer of the F-22 Combined Test Force/ Flight Sciences Aircraft, as part of a team successfully completing expansion of the flight envelope to support entry into IOT&E. In 2003, Dr. Law was named Chief Engineer of the F-16 Program with nine F-16 type versions in various stages of design development and production during his tenure. Dr. Law returned to the JSF Program in 2004 as the F-35 Chief Engineer. He led the Lockheed Martin technical team through successful Critical Design Reviews of the Conventional Take-Off and Landing (CTOL) and Short Take-Off Vertical Landing (STOVL) F-35 Aircraft. He secured the Flight Clearance for the first F-35A leading to a successful first flight in December 2006. Dr. Law has received numerous industry awards, including the 2001 Outstanding Engineering Achievement Merit Award from The Engineers Council Inc., the AIAA 2002 Aircraft Design Award for development of an original concept for the X-35B, STOVL aircraft. Dr. Law holds a PhD in Mechanical Engineering from Drexel University. He was selected as Drexel’s first “Engineer of the Year” in 2002.

Paul Metz Photo Paul Metz
VP & Chief Test Pilot

Prior to joining Rocketplane Global, Paul Metz served as Vice President for Integrated Test and Evaluation (Flight Test) on Lockheed Martin’s F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program from 2001 until his retirement in February 2006. He had previously served as Lockheed Martin’s Chief Test Pilot for the F-22 Advanced Tactical Fighter from 1992-2001 and made the first flight on the F-22A Raptor on September 7, 1997. Prior to joining Lockheed Martin, he was an Engineering Test Pilot and Chief Test Pilot for Northrop Aircraft for 12 years. He made the first flight of the YF-23A Advanced Tactical Fighter in August 1990 while at Northrop Grumman. He also served as an engineering test pilot on the B-2 program, was an F-105G Wild Weasel pilot in the USAF for twelve years and was decorated for combat missions in Southeast Asia. Metz is a Fellow and past-president of the Society of Experimental Test. In 1992, he received the Kincheloe Award, the test pilot profession’s highest award, for his flight testing of the YF-23 Advanced Tactical Fighter prototype. In 2002 he was enshrined in the Aerospace Walk of Honor at Lancaster, California, the gateway to the USAF Flight Test Center. He has written numerous articles on the flight test of modern fighter aircraft. He has over 7,000 hours and more than 37 years of experience flying 70 aircraft types including the F-86, F-105, F-4, F-5, F-15, F-20, YF-23 and F-22. He received a bachelor's degree in aeronautical and astronautical engineering from the Ohio State University, Summa Cum Laude, in 1968. His graduate studies have been in Aeronautical Engineering at Ohio State and California State University, Fresno and Aviation Safety at the Naval Post Graduate School, Monterey, California.

Edward G. Linhart Edward G. Linhart
Vice President of Manufacturing

Ed most recently was the Vice President of F-35 Global Production for Lockheed Martin. He started on the program in April 2003 and saw the F-35 from Design to Flight Test. He was responsible for implementing the most modern assembly line in the aerospace industry, to reach a production rate of one aircraft a day. Ed retired at the end of September 2007. Before this Ed was a consultant to small to large companies from 2001 to 2003. He was consulting for Lockheed Martin on the F-22 Program when they asked him to take the position on the F-35 Program. From 1990 through 2001 Ed had organized and lead purchases of small private companies and small divisions of companies such as Raychem, ALCOA and Hexcel Corporations. He sold his interests in the companies and retired in August 2001. Ed has won numerous awards during his career, the most prized being the Engineer of the year award, in 1991, presented by the California Engineers council for his work on the F-22. Ed has worked on many programs, in his 40 plus years career, the F-35 being the seventh from design to production. He has been involved in the design and production of these programs. Ed graduated from California State University, Long Beach, with a Bachelors degree in Industrial Technology, in 1975 and a Masters Degree, in 1977. He has since completed certificate programs, the latest being a Certificate in Executive Management from Insead University, in Fontainebleau near Paris France, in 1988.

J Edwards Photo General Jay Edwards (ret.)
Director Government and Regulatory Affairs

General Edwards is a graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York with a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering. He also holds a M.S. degree in Aeronautical Engineering from the University of Texas A & M and a M.S. degree in Public Administration from George Washington University. General Edwards served 28 years in the U. S. Air Force as a research engineer, logistics manager, fighter pilot, retiring as Commander of the Oklahoma Air Logistic Center. He directed the flight test program for the A-7 D/E in the A-7 System Program, Office. After retirement he served in several positions including President of an heavy equipment manufacturing company and Executive Director of the Oklahoma Space Industry Development Authority. As director of the Space Authority he led the process with the Office of Commercial Space Transportation to obtain a Space Port license for the Oklahoma Space Port.

Charles J. Lauer Photo Charles J. Lauer
Vice President of Business Development

Mr. Lauer is a graduate of the University of Michigan College of Architecture & Urban Planning. He is Vice President of Business Development for Rocketplane, Inc. He is also a successful real estate consultant and developer, and the President of Peregrine Properties, Ltd. in Lansing, Michigan. Mr. Lauer has been responsible for negotiating, obtaining regulatory approvals and arranging financing for over $350 million in numerous successful real estate development projects. He has been researching and developing potential business opportunities in space since 1991, and has published numerous general interest articles and technical papers on commercial space development. Mr. Lauer has been a consultant to Boeing, NASA and several space start-ups on commercial space development. He is now actively involved in several new spaceport projects around the world; and is an Advocate and a member of the Board of Advisors of the Space Frontier Foundation.