Brent Cobleigh Project Manager, Sustainable Flight Demonstrator Project NASA Armstrong Flight Research Center


Over his 33-year NASA career, Brent Cobleigh has worked a wide variety of flight research projects supporting NASA’s aeronautics, science, and exploration goals.  Brent is currently the Project Manager for NASA’s Sustainable Flight Demonstrator (SFD) project.  In partnership with Boeing, this project will design, build, and fly a full-scale Transonic Truss Braced Wing (TTBW) configuration that could reduce fuel burn and the resulting carbon emissions by up to 30% in support of the U.S. Aviation Climate Action Plan.  

Just prior to SFD formulation, Brent served as the Armstrong Flight Research Center (AFRC) Deputy Director for Programs and Projects helping to lead an organization of over 30 project managers.  

From 2004 to 2020, Brent was Project Manager for several major projects including the Ikhana Unmanned Aircraft System that demonstrated 20-hour wildfire mapping missions over the Western United States while flying in class A airspace; the Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA) that flew hundreds of infrared astronomy missions using the world’s largest flying astronomical observatory; and the Flight Demonstrations and Capabilities Project, developing and managing a portfolio of subprojects including X-57, SCHAMROQ, Adaptive Compliant Trailing Edge, Landing Gear Noise Reduction, and X-56, as well as important flight test support capabilities.  From 2008-2010, he also led the AFRC Exploration Projects Branch, the highlight of which was the successful integration and first flight test of the Orion Launch Abort System.  

From 1989-2003, Brent served in engineering roles on more than 10 research aircraft and spacecraft projects including the X-29, X-31, F-16XL Supersonic Laminar Flow, SR-71 Linear Aerospike, X-33, Autonomous Formation Flight, and X-37. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Aerospace Engineering from California State Polytechnic University, Pomona and a master’s degree in Aeronautical Engineering from the George Washington University.  Brent is a member of the AIAA Flight Test Technical Committee.