Darryl W. Davis

President, Phantom Works
Boeing Defense, Space and Security

In recognition of his technical and managerial leadership in the military aerospace industry

Watching Neil Armstrong’s historymaking first steps on the moon was only one of the reasons Darryl Davis chose aeronautical and astronautical engineering. From an early age, he was avidly interested in anything that flew, wanting to know how it worked.

“My dad and I tinkered around making our own kites and hot air balloons out of very common stuff in the house,” he says. “Later, I advanced to model rockets, launching them in the local farmers’ fields close to where I grew up.”

Upon graduating from Purdue, Davis accepted an offer to work in McDonnell Douglas’s propulsion department. In 1997, McDonnell Douglas merged with The Boeing Company. After holding several positions of increasing responsibility in both McDonnell Douglas and Boeing, Davis took his current position as president of Phantom Works for Boeing Defense, Space and Security. In this position, he leads an organization of approximately 2,400 employees in five major business elements: Advanced Boeing Military Aircraft (ABMA), Advanced Network & Space Systems (ANSS), Advanced Global Services & Support (AGS&S), Advanced Modeling & Simulation (AMS), and Strategic Development & Experimentation (SD&E).

“At Phantom Works, we work on all aspects of flight — from space to hypersonics to unmanned, robotic aircraft,” he says. “The great challenge for Phantom Works is applying technologies in new and innovative products that elevate the role of the human operator to higher levels of systems management than just flying or operating the vehicle or system.”

Davis’s projects include the Phantom Ray Technology Demonstrator, a fightersized, state-of-the-art aerospace system built upon the X-45C unmanned aerial vehicle platform; the A160T Hummingbird Unmanned Aerial Vehicle, an unmanned rotorcraft; ScanEagle, a low-cost, longendurance autonomous unmanned vehicle; and the X-51A WaveRider, a free-flying vehicle that will fly longer hypersonically than all of its predecessors combined. His team is currently studying a concept called “HALE,” or “High Altitude Long Endurance” unmanned aircraft, designed to stay at high altitudes for several days.

“One of the rewarding aspects for me has been the opportunity to work on the front end of new programs in partnership with the military to design the next generation of products, incorporating new and evolving technologies,” he says. “And I really enjoy working with talented individuals to make that next leap in capability for those products.”

His current position puts Davis in command of Boeing’s future in defense systems. “I would have never imagined as a freshman that I would have this tremendous opportunity to work on the future of flight as part of The Boeing Company,” he says.

Career Highlights

Current President, Phantom Works, Boeing Defense, Space and Security
2006–2007 Vice President, Advanced Precision Engagement and Mobility Systems, Boeing Integrated Defense Systems (IDS)
2005–2006 Vice President, Global Strike Solutions, Air Force Systems/Boeing IDS
2003–2005 Vice President and Program Manager, Joint-Unmanned Combat Air System X-45 (J-UCAS), Air Force Systems/Boeing IDS
2002–2003 Vice President and Program Manager, Unmanned Combat Air Vehicle (UCAV), Air Force Systems/Boeing IDS
2000–2002 Vice President, Business Development, F/A-18 Hornet and Military Aircraft and Missile Systems, Air Force Systems/Boeing IDS
1999–2000 Director, Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) Capture Team, Boeing IDS
1997–1999 General Manager AV-8B Harrier II, Boeing IDS
1997 Director, Navy Programs, Boeing IDS
1979–1997 Various positions of increasing responsibility with McDonnell Douglas (which merged with The Boeing Company in 1997)
1985 MSME, University of Missouri — Rolla
1978 BSAAE, Purdue University