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Estrella Warbirds Museum to host test pilot at monthly dinner 

test pilot Zach Reeder

Zach Reeder.

Museum hosts a dinner and guest speaker on the first Wednesday of every month

– The Estrella Warbirds Museum hosts a dinner and guest speaker on the first Wednesday of each month. On Aug. 3, Zach Reeder will talk about his career as a test pilot and his recent experiences at Joby Aviation. After graduation from Texas A&M in 2005, with a bachelor of science degree in aerospace engineering, Reeder landed a job as a test pilot and engineer at Scaled Composites. At Burt Rutan’s revolutionary company, Reeder flies the Firebird Demonstrator, Proteus, and Task Vantage.

Reeder’s first solo flight was in a hang glider that he designed and built for $100. He is now a commercial, multi-engine, instrument-rated pilot, and has flown 42 different airplane types, including Rutan’s Catbird, an Extra 300, L-39, RV-8 which he built, a family Super Cub, and an AN-2.

As an engineer and test pilot at Joby Aviation, he contributed to the design, construction, and flight test of a new eVTOL aircraft. What we were looking at was Joby Aviation’s electric solution to air travel – what’s called an eVTOL aircraft, which stands for electric vertical takeoff and landing. As the name suggests, the aircraft can take off and land like a helicopter but fly like a plane. “It’s significantly safer, significantly faster, and significantly quieter than the helicopters that are out there today,” Paul Sciarra, Executive Chairman of Joby Aviation and Co-Founder
said.

Electric trains have been shuttling passengers back and forth for over a century. Electric cars have existed nearly as long, though they’ve gotten a big boost in the last decade. But while the aviation era dawned at the beginning of the 20th century, it’s been almost entirely reliant on the internal combustion of petroleum products ever since.

For decades, commercial air travel has largely looked the same. Despite advancements in aerodynamics and fuel mileage, it’s yet to overcome the two major problems of noise and air pollution. In fact, in 2019, air travel accounted for roughly three percent of all greenhouse gas emissions in the US – the highest it has been since the all-time high just before 2008, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. Passenger cars still make up the bulk of transportation-related greenhouse gas emissions at nearly 12 percent.

Joby says its eVTOL aircraft could be the solution for a cheaper, quieter, and greener means of commercial flying.

The public is invited to the dinner on Wednesday, Aug. 3. Doors will open at 5:30 p.m. with a no-host bar (cash only, no credit cards), and dinner will begin at 6:30 p.m. Space is limited, so make reservations now by calling the museum at (805) 296-1935 or going online at ewarbirds.org/museum/reservations.shtml. The deadline for reservations is 6 p.m. on Monday, Aug. 1. Price for the dinner is $25 per person.

The Estrella Warbirds Museum is located at 4251 Dry Creek Road in Paso Robles, California. The museum is open Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. Call for Monday holiday hours. For general admission information, visit www.ewarbirds.org.

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The news staff of the Paso Robles Daily News wrote or edited this story from local contributors and press releases. The news staff can be reached at info@pasoroblesdailynews.com.