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Hyundai appoints new CTO for urban air mobility division

By Chris Stonor

Hyundai has appointed aerospace start-up veteran, Ben Diachun, to become Chief Technology Officer (CTO) of the company’s growing R&D and engineering urban air mobility (UAM) division, reports a press release. Diachun brings 20 years of experience “in building sustainable high-growth companies and helping develop revolutionary aerospace vehicles”.

Diachun is to report to Jaiwon Shin, President at Hyundai Motor Group and Head of Urban Air Mobility Division, and will develop the section’s technology strategy and vision with the goal of bringing Hyundai’s urban air mobility (UAM) to market by 2028.

President Shin said, “Ben’s track record of building groundbreaking aircrafts as well as agile, collaborative and diverse teams is critical to our mission to develop the best and most innovative design for our UAM vehicle.”

Diachun will work closely on the technology and the surrounding policy, infrastructure and operations. “I have been fascinated by technology and air travel since I was a child and am thrilled to put my experience to work at the UAM Division,” he commented. “Hyundai Motor Group is well positioned to transform the human travel experience. I am honored to join this group and excited for what we will accomplish together.”

Diachun offers 20 years of engineering and executive leadership experience. Most recently, he served as CEO and president at Opener, an aerospace startup in Palo Alto, California. He was also the president at Scaled Composites, LLC, an aerospace manufacturing company known for creating revolutionary new aircraft and spacecraft, in Mojave, California.


Diachun earned a master’s degree in aeronautics and astronautics from Stanford University and a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from Purdue University and has helped develop 16 groundbreaking aerospace vehicles, including SpaceShipOne, the first commercial manned spaceship, and BlackFly, an electric personal air vehicle.

He also serves on the Board of Directors for the Experimental Aircraft Association and is an industry advisor to Purdue University’s School of Aeronautics and Astronautics.

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(Top Photo: Ben Diachun)

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