The Vertical Flight Society (VFS) will operate under new leadership starting June 1 when Angelo Collins succeeds Mike Hirschberg as executive director. Collins becomes the organization’s seventh leader in its 80-year history.
The not-for-profit group is dedicated to the advancement of vertical takeoff and landing aircraft and technology. It now counts 6,500 individual members worldwide from industry, academia, and government agencies, as well as 185 corporate members and 30 educational members.
Collins, a VFS member since 2008, now works as an aerospace engineer with Booz Allen Hamilton, managing the science and engineering technical assistance support contract for the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency’s Tactical Technology Office. With 15 years of experience in aerospace engineering, project management, and technical consulting, he started his career as an intern with DARPA contractor Centra Technology, where he was recruited by Hirschberg himself. He earned a bachelor’s degree in aerospace engineering from the University of Maryland and a master’s degree in engineering administration from Virginia Tech.
Hirschberg joined the VFS as executive director in 2011 and will stay with the organization in the new role of director of strategy. He also led the society’s prominent role as an advocate for new vertical flight technology, most notably eVTOL aircraft, and its rebranding from its former name of American Helicopter Association.