Congressman Wittman, House Committee on Armed Services, Tours U.S.-based UAV Disruptor RapidFlight

RapidFlight, designer and mass manufacturer of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) for the global defense industry, hosted Congressman Rob Wittman (VA-01), Vice Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, at its headquarters in Manassas, Virginia, last week.

RapidFlight gave Congressman Wittman an update on its ability to immediately disrupt the industry with affordable, mission-customizable drones that can provide five times the capability in range and endurance at a fraction of the unit price compared to traditional small UAV systems available today. The company’s approach, called AgileAviation, includes more than 20 customizable UAV designs to date and a proprietary software-hardware stack that takes aim at ensuring that the U.S. will compete with overseas production in countries such as China. 

During a two-hour visit, RapidFlight demonstrated its approach to cracking the UAV code, including a tour of its mass manufacturing facility that employs dozens of local workers and its ability to manufacture at the tactical edge with its Mobile Production System (MPS), introduced earlier this year. RapidFlight’s approach begins with the mission in mind and then builds an airframe around the payload, helping create more effective unmanned systems customized to complete the specific mission at hand. RapidFlight’s AgileAviation approach means its UAVs can flexibly integrate variants including the propulsion, navigation, payload, and communication systems in support of the United States and its allies.

During the visit, Wittman asserted the needs of the U.S. Armed Forces and its allies for innovative, mass produced yet quickly customizable ready-now solutions to address an increasingly challenging global environment.

“We get so wrapped up in doing science project after science project, but you have to be able to scale it and have an operational effect,” said Wittman, discussing the current state of Pentagon technology development.

Earlier this year, Congressman Wittman played an integral role in incorporating the American Security Drone Act within the 2024 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). The act is helping promote American superiority and competitiveness within the drone market while protecting against IP theft and data security violations by adversaries. Now, Congressman Wittman is visiting established domestic drone manufacturers, such as RapidFlight, that are bringing advanced, affordable, and mission-adaptable U.S. drone production for defense needs at scale.

After Congressman Wittman familiarized himself with RapidFlight and its flexible manufacturing capabilities at its Virginia industrial facility and at the tactical edge through its MPS program, he took questions from RapidFlight staff about the future of defense technology, global affairs, and next steps for the sector.

“Our great men and women in uniform need tools to get the job done,” said Wittman, during the question-and-answer session with RapidFlight personnel. “Thank you for being the innovators and creators we need.”

“Congressional engagement with companies like RapidFlight is critical to national defense. Congressman Wittman can help facilitate innovative solutions from emerging manufacturers aimed at bolstering our national defense strategy,” said Mike Uffelman, director of Growth at RapidFlight. “We are excited to work with our elected officials on Capitol Hill to provide our service members with the tools they need to accomplish the mission.”