Griffon Aerospace was formed in 1995 when Larry French, owner and CEO, decided to build a six-place kit aircraft. Pursuing his passion for vintage design and modern composite manufacturing techniques, Larry and his newly formed company brought the 1930’s Beech Staggerwing style roaring back to life and into the modern era. After producing a handful of Lionheart kits for customers all over the country, the team at Griffon took on challenges in the exciting and expanding world of unmanned aircraft systems and advanced composite manufacturing.
In 2003 Griffon won its first prime contract for the production, engineering, and flight services for the US Army’s Remotely Piloted Vehicle Target (RPVT): the MQM-170A Outlaw “G1”. Griffon also won the re-bid for the US Army RPVT six years later. During the life of the two contracts, Griffon produced over 3000 Outlaw G1 units for the US Army. In the same year that they won the second Army contract, Griffon was presented with two new opportunities. Griffon was the winner of the US Navy’s Unmanned Aerial Target (UAT) contract to produce Outlaws and provide flight services. The other opportunity came as a result of the huge success of the Outlaw. Griffon was awarded a sole-source contract for the 600 lbs. gross weight MQM-171 Broadsword including all related ground support equipment.
In 2012 Griffon introduced Outlaw G2, the second generation of the well proven Outlaw G1. The new target optimized the propulsion, wiring, and avionics systems while simultaneously increasing payload capacity, maneuverability, range, and structural design. Griffon was awarded its third consecutive US Army RPVT contract with the MQM-170C Outlaw G2 due to superior aircraft design, low cost, and outstanding mission performance.
Shortly after the Outlaw G2 Target was introduced Griffon rolled out a UAS variant titled G2E. The single engine on gear variant quickly became a go to platform for sensor development and ISR needs. In 2014 Griffon once again expanded its product line with the release of SeaHunter, the long-range twin engine UAS workhorse designed for specialized missions with US DoD, Universities, and research groups all over the world. Both of these platforms are enhanced by Griffon’s experienced and innovative Electrical Engineering team that integrates the customer’s state-of-the-art payloads into the airframes and assists in their successful operation.
In addition to UAS production, Griffon has teamed up with Northrop Grumman on various advanced composite projects. These companies worked together to build the first successful composite liquid hydrogen rocket tank. Griffon served as the onsite test engineering provider for design, development, production, and testing of the prototype composite tank. Following the success of that project, Griffon was once again chosen by Northrop Grumman to manufacture and test a large composite cryogenic tank for NASA’s large scale composite tank set (CTS) contract. Griffon’s support of Northrop Grumman projects, including 8 composite fins for NASA’s Max Launch Abort System, has resulted in Griffon being awarded 3 “Aerospace Industry Supplier of the Year” awards.
Griffon has also leveraged its composite and metal fabrication capabilities to provide multiple structures, fairings, and mockups for DoD, commercial, and academic partners.