Ascendance Flight Technologies, the French start-up specialising in aviation decarbonisation, has named Stéphane Viala as Director of Engineering & Programme. As of February 1, 2023, Viala will oversee the technical management of the young aircraft manufacturer’s two flagship programmes: the STERNA modular hybrid propulsion system and the hybrid-electric VTOL aircraft ATEA.
The aeronautical engineer from ISAE-ENSMA also holds a PhD in turbulence modelling from SUPAERO/ONERA. Viala was previously SVP Engineering and Head Of Design Organisation of French-Italian aircraft manufacturer ATR, which he joined in 2015.
Before being appointed by ATR, Viala had been in various leading positions at Airbus for 16 years. He first headed the aerodynamic methods and A350 flight dynamics teams before leading the A30X flight physics and flight dynamics integrated team. He also defined products evolution, multidisciplinary methods and technology in R&T programmes for four years, as head of Overall aircraft Design, encompassing flight physics, engine, flight test bed and methods and tools perimeter. Viala was the A320 incremental development chief engineer before joining ATR. He holds several patents in the aerospace field and has published several technical articles.