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LaunchPoint propelling future of electric-powered flight

Blake DeVine/KEYT
LaunchPoint Electric Propulsion Solutions has been developing electric motors for flying cars and advanced drones within its Goleta-based headquarters.

GOLETA, Calif. — A team of high-level engineers and business executives in Goleta have combined forces to propel the future of electric-powered flight.

Officially formed in June 2020, LaunchPoint Electric Propulsion Solutions has been developing cutting-edge, electric motors and hybrid-electric propulsion systems to extend flight for drones, flying cars along with additional defense applications.

Over the past three years, LaunchPoint’s revenue has expanded from $1 million in 2019 prior to its official launch, to $1.9 million in 2020. This year the company is on track to hit $4.9 million in revenue. 

Meanwhile, the firm’s team has grown from 16 in 2019 to 40 in 2021 and counting. The company is currently looking to hire at least 20 more for various positions.

“We are making the future of electric green clean flight. Flying air taxis, drones that deliver your pizzas,” LaunchPoint EPS chief technical officer Mike Ricci said. “All that is going to be a reality and we’re making that here right now.”

While LaunchPoint officially formed in June 2020, it emerged from Goleta-based technology incubator and think tank, LaunchPoint Technologies. For that reason, staffing and revenue predate the company’s founding.

The startup company has also secured more than $1.25 million in grants from the U.S. Department of Defense to develop motors and hybrid-electric flight technology.

LaunchPoint’s most in-demand products include the HPS400 GenSet, a 40 kW hybrid generator with the capacity to power large drones and flying vehicle missions, and the HPS055 5.5 kW GenSet.

“We were able to demonstrate a flight for over ninety minutes in a hybrid situation where traditionally the average flight is 27 minutes,” LaunchPoint EPS CEO Rob Reali explained.

With LaunchPoint’s products, defense and other types of drones can travel farther and carry more load than those fitted with other hybrid power system models.

“In a decade we will be in everything from flying cars to small drones and other unmanned systems,” LaunchPoint EPS ​vice president of engineering and operations Brian Clark said.

LaunchPoint EPS is located at 5735 Hollister Ave., Suite B, in Goleta. For more information call 805-683-9659 or visit their website.

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Blake DeVine

Blake DeVine is a multimedia journalist and sports anchor at NewsChannel 3-12. To learn more about Blake, click here.

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