Merlin Appoints Two Former Leaders from the United States Department of the Air Force to its Federal Advisory Board

Retired Major General Kyle Kremer and Preston Dunlap bring decades of air mobility and defense technology expertise that will be significant to advancing the commercialization of the Merlin Pilot

BOSTON–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Merlin, the leading developer of safe, autonomous flight technology for fixed-wing aircraft, today announced the appointments of retired Major General Kyle Kremer and Preston Dunlap to its Federal Advisory Board as it continues the market expansion and commercialization of its dual-use integrated hardware and software solution, the Merlin Pilot. Dunlap and Maj. Gen. Kremer’s appointments come on the heels of several recent milestones by Merlin. These include Merlin’s recently awarded FAA Contract to deploy the Nation’s first Air Cargo Network flown by a non human pilot and achieving the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) of New Zealand’s first Stage of Involvement (SOI 1) certification, and the opening of its center for operations in Kerikeri, New Zealand as the test environment for further technological development and certification activities of its Cessna Caravans.

Prior to his retirement, Maj. Gen. Kremer most recently served as the Director of Strategy, Plans, Requirements and Programs at Headquarters Air Mobility Command, where he led future air mobility capability and employment concept development as well as responsible for the second largest mission portfolio in the Air Force budget. He is also a Command Pilot with multiple assignments flying C-5, KC-135, C-21, and T-37 with command at the squadron, group, and wing levels.

Dunlap has served four Secretaries of Defense and most recently returned to the government as the first Chief Technology Officer and Chief Architect Officer for the U.S. Air Force and Space Force overseeing the technology of over $74 billion of research, development, and acquisition programs. Dunlap started over $250 billion of new defense and intelligence programs, including the newly unveiled B-21 bomber, Joint All-Domain Command and Control, space, hypersonic, AI, and other cutting-edge technology programs. He currently serves as an independent director on corporate boards and advises Fortune 100, growth, venture capital, and private equity firms.

“Merlin is creating the world’s most capable pilot to ensure the resiliency of our air network and we have built a team with the expertise needed to accomplish this mission. Both Preston and Maj. Gen. Kremer bring extensive experience to our government business and their advisory will be pivotal to the progression and commercialization of the Merlin Pilot,” said Matt George, co-founder and CEO, Merlin. “We’re excited to bring both aboard our Federal Advisory Board and to continue the technological and certification momentum we’ve shown to date.”

“I am excited about joining the Merlin team and intrigued by the practical approach they’re taking towards the future of autonomous systems. The Merlin Pilot presents immense opportunities for the Department of Defense and I look forward to being a part of the ongoing innovation and success,” said Kremer.

“It’s an honor to partner with Matt and the creative team of technologists at Merlin as they make autonomy take flight at scale,” added Dunlap.

About Merlin

Founded in 2018 and headquartered in Boston, with additional offices in Denver, Kerikeri (NZ) and Mojave, Merlin is building the definitive autonomy system for all things that fly. To learn more, visit or follow us on Twitter @merlinaero.


Kate Gundry