MOJAVE, Calif. – XCOR Aerospace announced April 3 that celebrated aviator, test pilot, engineer and commercial astronaut Brian Binnie has joined the company as Senior Test Pilot.
As Senior Test Pilot, Binnie will be working with another celebrated pilot and astronaut, XCOR Chief Test Pilot and former Space Shuttle pilot and commander, retired U.S. Air Force colonel Richard “Rick” Searfoss.
“Brian and I have been friends and colleagues for many years and I have always wanted to work together in a flying environment,” noted Searfoss. “Combining our backgrounds as government and commercial astronauts and our broad experience across a number of rocket powered craft, I feel this builds on XCOR’s strong culture that emphasizes safety and professionalism.”
“Brian, Dan DeLong and I worked together at Rotary Rocket,” said XCOR Founder and CEO Jeff Greason. “He was a consummate professional and leader there, and we’ve stayed in close contact over the years, so I know he will make a great contribution to our efforts at XCOR and getting the Lynx flying soon.”
“I’m very pleased to be part of the XCOR Team and look forward to working with friends and colleagues on many of the exciting development efforts at XCOR including the family of Lynx vehicles,” noted Binnie, “I look forward to seeing the Lynx flying soon and making a contribution to the program.”
Brian Binnie is a decorated aviator having piloted the Ansari X-Prize award winning flight that broke the winged aircraft altitude record previously held by the X-15. He also was the pilot of a unique prototype of a single stage to orbit system, the Roton Rocket Atmospheric Test Vehicle, from Rotary Rocket. Binnie has over 5300 hours of flight time in 85 different aircraft types and 29 years experience as a test pilot. A former Naval Aviator, he is a retired Commander having flown the A-7 Corsair, the A-6 Intruder, the F/A-18 Hornet and the AV-8B Harrier. He is a 1988 Graduate of the United States Naval Test Pilot School, received his Bachelors in Aerospace Engineering and Masters in Thermodynamics from Brown University and received a second Masters Degree in Aeronautical Engineering from Princeton University.