February 2, 2023

Stéphane Viala appointed Director of Engineering & Program at Ascendance Flight Technologies

Ascendance Flight Technologies, theFrench start-up specializing in aviation decarbonization, announced the appointmentof Stéphane Viala as Director of Engineering & Program. As of February 1,2023, he will oversee the technical management of the young aircraft manufacturer’stwo flagship programs: the STERNA modular hybrid propulsion system and thehybrid-electric VTOL aircraft ATEA.

This aeronautical engineer fromISAE-ENSMA also holds a PhD in turbulence modelling from SUPAERO/ONERA. He waspreviously SVP Engineering and Head Of Design Organization of French-Italianaircraft manufacturer ATR, which he joined in 2015.

Before being appointed by ATR, he hadbeen in various leading positions at Airbus for 16 years. He  first headed the Aerodynamic Methods and A350Flight Dynamics teams before leading the A30X Flight Physics and FlightDynamics integrated team. He also defined products evolution, multidisciplinarymethods and technology in R&T Programs during 4 years, as head of Overallaircraft Design, encompassing flight physics, engine, Flight Test Bed andMethods and Tools perimeter. He was the A320 incremental development chiefEngineer before joining ATR. He holds several patents in the aerospace fieldand has published several technical articles.

His technical knowledge, 360°integration skills and wide experience in all segments of aviation, paired withhis comprehensive understanding of the aeronautical market will be key to thedevelopment and promotion of Ascendance Flight Technologies’ sustainable flightsolutions.

Stéphane Viala - Director of Engineering & Program: «I am excited to be part of such an innovative anddifferentiating project. My commitment to bringing clean aircraft to the skiesand my growing interest in the potential of hybrid propulsion have led me toclosely follow Ascendance’s progress.  Iam impressed with what the team has achieved so far. The project is sound andcredible in terms of segment and purpose, and the growing number of LOIs reflectsthat. The team is highly skilled, and I share their vision that hybridizationis key to a fast and efficient transition towards green aviation. I amdelighted to spearhead the technical development of both STERNA and ATEA, andlook forward to meeting our next goals: to make aeronautical industry benefitfrom our STERNA hybridization technology, and to fly, certify and industrializeour ATEA aircraft.”

Ascendance’s vision and achievementshave steadily attracted high profile professionals with extensive experience inthe aeronautical industry. Viala’s appointment follows the recent arrival ofFrançois Caudron, ex-Senior Vice President Marketing and CMO of Airbus as SpecialAdvisor Business. Robert Lafontan, former Senior Vice President of Engineeringat Airbus joined the team in 2021 as Executive Technical Advisor.

Jean-Christophe Lambert, CEO: We are thrilled to welcomeStéphane Viala. He is a consummate professional who performed in all thedevelopment & lifecycle phases of an aircraft, from the advanced projectsand fly tests to the production and global fleet management. His experience inthe field of innovative aviation, as well as his aircraft architect view, willbe essential in leading our technicaldevelopment. We are committed to rapidly deliver the best decarbonizationsolutions to the aerospace industry and having Stéphane on board is anincredible value to the team and a major step towards our goals.”

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