Virgin Orbit are working hard towards their first flight and are making great progress. I was thrilled that my visit came at the same time as they were doing a flight test. I sat in the control room and listened to the pilot Kelly Latimer and engineer Sarah Barnes going through the test instructions, which was all about pushing the limits of the carrier aircraft, testing for stall and other high-G manoeuvres.
The flight was a success and we are now in a new phase of testing, what CEO Dan Hart likes to call the final shake-out. It’s been a herculean effort by the team to get to this point and I want to say a huge well done for all your hard work. It really is rocket science and you’re all doing such a fantastic job, getting us closer to the goal of opening up space for everyone.
It was inspiring to sit down with the team at an all-hands meeting and to talk about the future of Virgin Orbit, how to overcome challenges and to hear their thoughts on issues such as how to form a great Virgin culture even under huge pressure. I had forgotten my belt that morning and borrowed one from a member of my team. Luckily Virgin Orbit came to the rescue as I became first recipient of their Virgin Orbit Badass award – what an honour!
We then visited Virgin Hyperloop to see the team – who are the only hyperloop company in the world to successfully test its technology at scale. I was thrilled to hear how they are showcasing Virgin Hyperloop at a Capitol Hill event ‘Hyperloop on the Hill’ to members of congress. There’s such huge appetite for this revolutionary technology.
It’s so exciting to see Virgin Hyperloop working with governments, partners, and investors around the world with projects underway in Missouri, Texas, Colorado, the Midwest, India, and the UAE. It’s all only possible thanks to the vision of CEO Jay Walder, founder Josh Giegel, and shareholders such as DPW and Chairman Sultan bin Sulayem, who have given us great support.
I love seeing start-ups developing and growing and I can’t wait to see both companies reaching their full potential. Business really is an adventure!