The Boeing Company today established a new organization to coordinate its efforts in the expanding unmanned systems market, and named Mike Heinz to lead that organization as vice president and general manager, Unmanned Systems.
Heinz, based in St. Louis, will report to both Jerry Daniels, president and chief executive officer of Boeing Military Aircraft and Missile Systems, and George Muellner, president, Boeing Phantom Works, the company's advanced research-and-development unit.
"Unmanned systems are the future of aerospace," Daniels said. "We intend to lead the transformation they will bring by leveraging the best from across Boeing. That's what Mike's organization will do."
Muellner added: "Most attention focuses on the unmanned vehicle, but success depends on understanding the broader system - aircraft, control software, payloads and support concepts. Boeing is better at integrating system solutions than anybody else."
The unmanned systems organization will oversee current Boeing projects including the two Unmanned Combat Air Vehicle programs sponsored by the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency - one for the U.S. Air Force, the other for the U.S. Navy. Boeing is also pursuing an unmanned concept based on canard rotor wing technology.
Heinz's group will also manage the pursuit of future opportunities for applications of unmanned technologies.
"Our goal is to develop a large business out of unmanned systems," Heinz said. "We're now somewhat of a niche player. We want this to be a major Boeing business."
Heinz has worked at Boeing for 34 years, most recently as vice president and deputy program manager of the Joint Strike Fighter program.
Positions he held prior to that included vice president and general manager of system assessment and planning, vice president and general manager of the Harpoon/Standoff Land Attack Missile program, and engineering manager of proprietary programs.
Heinz earned his bachelor's degree in aeronautical and astronautical engineering from the University of Notre Dame and his master's degree in aeronautical engineering from Stanford University. He also holds a master's degree in business administration from Washington University in St. Louis.