Red Bull Stratos Technical Project Director
Art Thompson was Felix Baumgartner's earliest collaborator in envisioning Red Bull Stratos.
As technical project director, Art Thompson assembled the mission's extraordinary team, and today he drives key areas of technical development such as the capsule creation and chamber tests.
Art possesses more than three decades of experience in innovating leading-edge design that has produced major milestones in aerospace history, including development of the B-2 "Stealth" aircraft. A California native, he studied engineering at the University of California, Los Angeles, and attended the University of La Verne and Northrop University. It was while working for Northrop Corporation that he served on a team brainstorming ideas for an aircraft that could avoid radar detection; their design would become the B-2 Spirit. Art co-founded his own company, Sage Cheshire Aerospace, Inc., to provide a wide range of aerospace needs, from initial design and engineering to finished product, while a sister business, A2ZFX Inc., extends the benefit of Art's creative thinking to other fields - producing tools, molds, digital products, and more for clients from aerospace manufacturers to movie producers for films like "Batman & Robin," for which Art and his team built the Batmobile.
It's that combination of drive, vision, and excellence that led Felix to Art, entrusting him to lead the development of the Red Bull Stratos mission. While Art's Sage Cheshire crew is designing, building, and testing the capsule to protect Felix and the mission's critical technology, his industry knowledge and stellar reputation have allowed him to hand-pick an unparalleled team for the other components of the project. Art notes, "There are so many great stories among the people working on this mission; with Red Bull Stratos, we're writing another one."