An advanced aviation company is setting up shop in Manassas, working on a $5.5 million expansion as the city’s military contracting and advanced electronics manufacturing sector continues to grow.
RapidFlight – an unmanned aircraft design and manufacturing company – is locating its system design and manufacturing operations on Center Street, adding 119 new jobs over the next three years.
“RapidFlight locating in Manassas further cements our city’s position as a leader in the design and production of unmanned aerial systems,” Manassas Mayor Michelle Davis-Younger said in a statement. “Our skilled workforce, industry leading companies, and community assets all combine to make Manassas a world-class destination for businesses and residents alike.”
Established in 2021, the company is working on a new 25,000-foot headquarters building on Center Street, complete with corporate offices as well as the manufacturing and design operations. A news release from Gov. Glenn Youngkin’s office announcing the investment notes that the state is assisting with the expansion through the Virginia Jobs Investment Program, which offers companies consultative services and funding to help with recruitment and training.
RapidFlight manufactures drones for both military and private sector use.
“Thanks to its central location on the East Coast, we can readily work face-to-face with our government customers while also leveraging Virginia’s Unmanned Systems’ infrastructure to conduct operations and test our systems,” Jay Gundach, the company’s CEO, said in a statement.
RapidFlight now joins BAE, Lockheed Martin and Aurora Flight Science as companies in the defense contracting or aeronautics space who are either headquartered or have a substantial footprint in Manassas.
“When you look at Manassas, historically in Northern Virginia, there are certain sectors that the region outperforms the nation and outperforms Virginia and outperforms out competitive peer groups in, and obviously, defense contracting is one of those,” Manassas Economic Development Director Patrick Small told InsideNoVa. “This company is in that space ... The kind of talent that these companies seek is either more readily available in Northern Virginia or more easily attracted to Northern Virginia than other markets.”