About The Team

Daniel Hatfield

Daniel N. Hatfield

Daniel has a distinguished career in aerospace, including over a decade of unmanned-vehicle-specific experience. As the Senior Aerodynamicist and a Project Engineer at Scaled Composites, Daniel was responsible for aerodynamic, performance, and aeroelastic design and analysis of the Virgin Atlantic Global Flyer, which completed the first nonstop solo airplane flight around the world in 2005. He also performed configuration selection and performance analysis for Space Ship One, which in 2004 completed the first privately-funded human spaceflight. Other contributions were wing design of the Adam A500 prototype and FAA certification modifications for the VisionAire Vantage.

Daniel received Bachelors of Science degrees in Aeronautical and Mechanical Engineering from the University of California, Davis in 1995. He performed experimental research into the dynamic stability for an Earth re-entry capsule at The von Karman Institute for Fluid Dynamics in Brussels, and completed two years of graduate studies at the University of California, Davis.

Neil Bortlein

Neil T. Boertlein

Neil has over a decade of direct experience in unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) design and test, with particular focus in systems engineering, modeling and simulation, and wind tunnel testing. Immediately prior to co-founding Vanilla Aircraft, Neil served as the Project Engineer and Propulsion IPT Lead of a turbine/electric-hybrid UAV development program which completed first flight in 2009.

Neil received a Bachelors of Science degree in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering from Cornell University in 2003 and a Masters of Engineering in Mechanical Engineering from Cornell University in 2004.

Jeremy Novara

Jeremy J. Novara

Prior to co-founding Vanilla Aircraft, Jeremy served as an assembly, integration and test technician, and then as an integration and test engineer, on several unmanned aircraft development programs. Jeremy is experienced in the FAA unmanned aircraft system (UAS) certification process, including designing for compliance with certification requirements, and has flight time on FAA-certified UAS in the national airspace.

Jeremy received a Bachelors of Arts degree in Economics from the University of California, Davis in 2005, and received his FAA private pilot certificate in 2008.