Hyundai Motor Group appoints Ben Diachun as CTO for Urban Air Mobility Division



Hyundai Motor Group announced the appointment of Ben Diachun as the chief technology officer of its Urban Air Mobility (UAM) Division.

Over the course of his career, Diachun helped develop 16 groundbreaking aerospace vehicles, including SpaceShipOne, the first commercial manned spaceship, and BlackFly, an electric personal air vehicle.

Diachun will report to Jaiwon Shin, president at Hyundai Motor Group and head of Urban Air Mobility Division. He will develop the Division’s technology strategy to bring the company to the UAM market by 2028.

President Shin said: “His track record of building groundbreaking aircraft as well as agile, collaborative and diverse teams is critical to our mission to develop the most innovative design for our UAM vehicle.”

Diachun said he has been fascinated with air travel since he was a child. “With an incredibly talented team and the manufacturing expertise of Hyundai Motor Group, we are well positioned to transform the human travel experience. I am honoured to join this group and am excited for what we will accomplish together,” he said.


He brings 20 years of engineering and executive leadership to the role. Most recently, he served as CEO and president at Opener, an aerospace start-up in Palo Alto, California. He was also the president at Scaled Composites, LLC, an aerospace manufacturing company known for creating revolutionary new aircraft and spacecraft, in California.  

He holds a master’s degree in aeronautics and astronautics from Stanford University and a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from Purdue University. Diachun serves on the Board of Directors for the Experimental Aircraft Association and is an industry adviser to Purdue University’s School of Aeronautics and Astronautics.