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Aurora Flight Sciences Overview

Manassas, VA
201 to 500 employees
Company - Private
Aerospace & Defense
Unknown / Non-Applicable
Aurora Flight Sciences is a leader in the development and manufacturing of advanced unmanned systems and aerospace vehicles. At the core of our company’s DNA is a commitment to the science of autonomous flight; whether a fully autonomous drone or a new ground breaking ... Read more

Mission: Apply autonomy and robotics to the development, production, and operation of advanced aircraft.

Aurora Flight Sciences – Why Work For Us?

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) awarded Aurora the prime contract to develop and build the Agency’s Vertical Takeoff and Landing Experimental Plane (VTOL X-Plane). This historic breakthrough in aviation technology could lead to revolutionary advancement of the U.S. military’s mission capabilities. At Aurora, you have a chance to be part of the team aiming to redefine the future of vertical flight.

Don’t wake up ten years from now wondering “what if?” This is your chance to be a part of some of the most exciting advancements of our lifetime: unmanned aircraft systems and robotics.

With a workforce of around 600 employees, our engineers never get lost in the crowd. At Aurora, engineers personally move their ideas forward in the innovation process and are there on the flight line when their design takes to the air.

The projections for the growth of the drone industry are astronomical. At Aurora we are using that growth to inspire new and innovative technological breakthroughs that have real-world applications. From building robots that fly aircraft, to designing drones that stay aloft for months at a time, our engineers innovate with a passion.

Four words you’ll never hear Aurora management say to our engineers are “don’t push the boundaries.” Our founder and others in senior management were young MIT engineers when they designed, built and flew a human-powered aircraft that set the world distance record for a flight from Crete to Santorini. Fast forward a quarter century, and our team set the world unmanned endurance record with the 80-hour flight of our Orion drone for the U.S. Air Force. Constantly pushing boundaries and breaking the innovation mold is how our company’s founders have always operated.

Manassas, Virginia
Aurora Headquarters

Located in Northern Virginia, approximately 30 miles west of Washington, DC, Aurora’s headquarters is home to the company’s design engineering team.

Aurora moved to Manassas in 1991 from its “garage shop” location where the company was originally founded in Alexandria, Virginia. The Manassas location currently has three buildings with a total of four hangar bays. Aurora uses this facility for ongoing development programs, rapid prototyping and as home base for corporate operations.

9950 Wakeman Dr
Manassas, VA 20110
Tel: 703.369.3633

Bridgeport, West Virginia
Aerostructure Manufacturing

Our facility in West Virginia focuses on the design, building and printing of aerostructure components utilizing lean aerospace manufacturing techniques and technologies. The West Virginia facility is the center of Aurora’s composite manufacturing work for military aircraft, with the RQ-4 Global Hawk/Triton and the CH-53K King Stallion providing the foundation. In addition, the facility is also the production base for numerous composite airframe parts of the Bell 525 helicopter.

3000 East Benedum Industrial Dr.
Bridgeport, WV 26330
Tel: 304.842.8100

Columbus, Mississippi
Aerostructures Manufacturing and Final Assembly

Aurora’s Mississippi facility opened in March 2005 and permanently resides at the Golden Triangle Regional Airport in Columbus. The location is comprised of three buildings and a combined 120,000 sq. ft of manufacturing and production capacity.

Aurora Mississippi fabricates and performs final assembly of composite aerostructures for defense and commercial aerospace customers, including Aurora’s Orion Medium Altitude-Long Endurance Unmanned Aerial Vehicle. Our state of the art capabilities include automated fiber placement, NDI, autoclave (16’x40’), NC trim and clean rooms.

200 Aurora Way
Columbus, MS 39701
Tel: 662.328.8227

Cambridge, Massachusetts
Research and Development Center

The heart of innovation at Aurora lies in our Research and Development Center located in one of the country’s predominant high tech-hubs, Kendall Square in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Established in 2006, the RDC’s mission is to perform basic and applied research supporting Aurora’s core business and product development efforts in the areas of unmanned aircraft systems, small space systems and other flight vehicles. The RDC also provides service to numerous external clients including NASA, DOD and major government contractors.

90 Broadway, Suite 11
Cambridge, MA 02142
Tel: 617.500.4800


European Office
Aurora Swiss Aerospace is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Aurora Flight Sciences, established in the Canton of Luzern, Switzerland in 2013. Aurora Swiss Aerospace conducts upgrade and support projects for Aurora customers in Switzerland and throughout Europe, as well managing a European engineering team that conducts research and development for worldwide Aurora projects.

Aurora Swiss Aerospace
Mühlemattstrasse 8
6004 Luzern

Silicon Valley Office
Managed by the Research and Development Center in Cambridge, Aurora opened its first west coast location earlier this year in Mountain View, California. This office is focused on three primary activities: (1) the design of solar-powered aircraft (2) becoming Aurora’s center of excellence for small UAS, and (3) supporting NASA’s UAV Traffic Management (UTM) program being run out of NASA Ames. The Mountain View office is housed in the NASA Research Technology Park and is expandable as needed.

P.O. Box 11
Building 19, Room 1070M
350 N. Akron Rd.
Moffett Field, CA 94035
Tel: 650.210.7557

Dayton Office
In 2015 Aurora opened a small office in Dayton, Ohio, directly outside the gates of Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. The mission of this office is to support our U.S. Air Force programs and is managed by the Research and Development Center out of Cambridge, MA.

5100 Springfield St.
Suite 308
Beavercreek, OH 45431
Tel: 937.723.9892


Chairman and Chief Executive Officer

John S. Langford is the Chairman and CEO of Aurora Flight Sciences Corporation, which he founded in 1989. Langford is a native of Atlanta, Georgia. He received his Bachelors degree in Aeronautics (1979), Masters in Aeronautics & Astronautics (1984), Masters in Defense Policy (1983) and Ph.D. in Aeronautics and Public Policy (1987) from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

Prior to Aurora, Langford worked for the Institute for Defense Analyses in Alexandria, Virginia. While at MIT, Langford organized and led a series of human-powered aircraft projects, culminating in the Daedalus Project, which in 1988 shattered the world distance and endurance records for humanpowered flight with a 72 mile flight between the Greek islands of Crete and Santorini. Earlier, Langford worked for the Lockheed Corporation as an engineer on the development of the F-117 stealth fighter, and as an intern at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy.


President and Chief Operating Officer

Mr. Cherry is the President and COO of Aurora Flight Sciences. In this role he drives operations execution across Aurora’s three market segments, Aerostructures, UAS, and Autonomy with emphasis on achieving growth objectives for the company.

Mr. Cherry joined Aurora in 2012 from Sikorsky Aircraft, a division of United Technologies Corporation, bringing over 20 years of Aerospace experience. At Sikorsky he held various roles of increasing responsibility ending as the Vice President for Corporate Strategy and Synergy.

Prior to joining Sikorsky Aircraft Mr. Cherry held various roles in program management, business development and consulting at Teradyne and the Boston Consulting Group.

Mark joined industry after serving as an officer in the United States Air Force. He held several roles including lead battle damage engineer for the A-10 program office. He also led the Air Force Research Lab (AFRL) efforts to demonstrate technology in the Advanced Fighter Technology Integration (AFTI) program.


Vice President of Business Operations

Ms. Miller is responsible for strategic planning and execution of shared services for Aurora’s four locations. Shared services include human resources, facilities, MIS/IT, security, export control, corporate communications, educational & public outreach, and corporate flight operations. In addition the General Managers in VA and MA directly report to her. Since joining the organization in 1994, Ms. Miller has been responsible for human and capital resources planning to support the company’s growth both organically and through acquisition.

In 1999 she led activities to establish an international joint venture and subsequently a successful acquisition in 2000 that doubled the company size. Ms. Miller led the green field activities to start an operation in Columbus, Mississippi in 2005 and an R&D center in Cambridge, Massachusetts in 2006.

Aurora Flight Sciences Reviews

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Aurora Flight Sciences Founder & CEO John S. Langford
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15 Ratings
  • Helpful (2)

    "Unique Aerospace company - large retention rate."

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
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    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Structural Design Engineer
    Current Employee - Structural Design Engineer
    Positive Outlook
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    I have been working at Aurora Flight Sciences full-time (Less than a year)


    - Lots of room for creativity
    - Given lots of responsibility, even as new grad
    - Shorter programs, so work stays different and interesting - NOT repetitive
    - Good starting pay


    - Virginia location is so-so - not far from D.C., though
    - Programs are not allocated much time - often times behind schedule on short-term programs

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Aurora Flight Sciences Photos

Aurora Flight Sciences photo of: Employees watch as the AACUS team conducts test flights at the Aurora Manassas airport location
Aurora Flight Sciences photo of: Automated Fiber Placement machine at Aurora's Mississippi factory
Aurora Flight Sciences photo of: Aurora's aircraft family includes manned, unmanned, optionally piloted and solar-powered flight capabilities
Aurora Flight Sciences photo of: Aurora's Orion UAS has a wing span of 132 ft.
Aurora Flight Sciences photo of: Aurora Manassas interns visiting our neighbors at Customs and Border Patrol
Aurora Flight Sciences photo of: Electrical Engineering intern Chloe working on the ALIAS program
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Aurora Flight Sciences Interviews



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Getting an Interview





    Information Assurance Analyst Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    No Offer
    Neutral Experience
    Average Interview


    I applied online. The process took 2 weeks. I interviewed at Aurora Flight Sciences in July 2017.


    They recruiter contacted me after I applied and asked some questions. After a few more phone conversations, they had me come into the Manassas VA location. First your have to give a presentation, and then go through a series of one on one interviews. I was given a tour of most of the facility which I really appreciated - they run a really cool operation! By the end of the interview process (About 3 hours) I had a good picture of what to expect. Most of the interviewers were very pleasant, and all were seasoned male professionals.

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