photo of Larry French

Chief Executive Officer and Chief Technical Officer, Griffon Aerospace, Inc.

A.S., ME 1972, Penn State University
B.S., ASE 1983, The University of Texas at Austin
Graduate Studies, ASE, The University of Texas at Austin

Larry French is the founder of Griffon Aerospace (Griffon). He has over 50 years of experience in system design, mechanical engineering, aerospace engineering, aircraft design, flight testing, system engineering, program management and corporate executive leadership. He is responsible for Griffon’s business and strategic technical leadership, product vision and business development. His proposal leadership has resulted in winning multiple, large government prime contracts. Prior to Griffon, French worked in key technical and management leadership positions and successfully executed many large projects for major aerospace corporations.

French received an A.S. in mechanical engineering technology from Penn State and a B.S. in aerospace engineering from The University of Texas at Austin, where he also and studied graduate level orbital mechanics.

He serves as Griffon’s chief aircraft designer and visionary for new aircraft designs and corporate products. French is the chief designer of the Lionheart 6-place manned composite Experimental Category aircraft, Outlaw G1 (MQM-170A, B) UAV, Outlaw Boomer UAV, Outlaw ER UAV, Outlaw G2 (MQM-170C, D), Outlaw G2E UAS, Marinized Outlaw G2, Outlaw G3 (MQM-170G), BroadSword (MQM-171) UAV, BroadSword XL UAV, SeaHunter UAV, RedWing (MQM-186), RedWing VTOL UAV, and Valiant, a next generational vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) Tactical UAV.

In 1993 while working on the Shuttle Spacelab program, French recognized a market void in the experimental aviation industry for a fast, six-passenger aircraft and began designing Lionheart. The positive market survey resulted in the decision to form Griffon Aerospace and produce Lionheart aircraft. The Lionheart prototype’s first flight was in 1997, four years for design, tooling, prototype production and flight. Lionheart production ceased in 2002. Griffon diversified and experienced steady growth in the design, development, production and operations of Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS), advanced composites design/production, and UAS flight operations worldwide. By January 2023, Griffon delivered over 9,000 Outlaw and other Griffon unmanned aircraft to the U.S. and allied militaries. Griffon pilots have supported over 10,000 UAS operational missions worldwide. French leads Griffon’s over 140 employees who execute government and commercial contracts worldwide.

French and his wife Cheryl live on a farm in Coldwater, TN. They have four children: Leah, Lindsey, Lauren, Jordan, and twelve grandchildren.