GBIC Announces Paragon VTOL Aerospace To Relocate to Brownsville, Texas
BROWNSVILLE, TEXAS (June 17, 2021) – Brownsville Mayor Trey Mendez announced today that Paragon VTOL Aerospace will be moving its operations to Brownsville. The vertical takeoff aircraft operation is scheduled to begin operations this year.
“Once again, Brownsville is making history and pioneering aviation,” said Mayor Mendez. In his remarks, he recalled the first international airmail flight piloted to Brownsville by aviator Charles Lindbergh on March 10, 1929, then quoted the iconic line from the 1989 movie Back to the Future Part 2, “’Roads? Where we’re going, we don’t need roads.’
“The relocation of Paragon VTOL furthers the creation of our infrastructure as a commercial NewSpace ecosystem,” the mayor said. “The City of Brownsville and its partners are committed to continuing to activate our economy through space industries.”
Paragon VTOL Aerospace was founded by oil executive and Jamaican native Dwight Smith to produce a vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) aircraft. Paragon VTOL Aerospace has set out to redefine the future of transportation today. “The reason I selected Brownsville is because of the community,” said Smith. “Look at the people of Brownville and you feel the sense of opportunity to build together.”
Smith proved he was well versed in Brownsville’s aviation history, recalling facts known by few. He quickly embraced the Brownsville education system. “We are providing full stem scholarships as a career path in partnership with the Brownsville unified school district for all middle and high school students,” said Smith.
Smith does not want to mislead anyone with what is planned for his company. The strategy in Brownsville will begin with working out the bugs of a drone package delivery. “We will start with small drone delivery based on a crawl, walk, and run strategy,” he said. “We will begin with meals, mail, and medicine drones in Brownsville.”
As a practical point, Smith welcomed failure in some respects “so we can move forward to the next level,” he said.
Under Paragon’s walk strategy, the company plans to initiate a heavy load vehicle that has been developed and eventually utilize a vehicle that carries passengers.
The aerospace design of the heavy vehicle is impressive with its fan-like propeller system and design.
“Paragon VTOL will be safely testing new urban air mobility and transportation, beginning with drones, and eventually producing vertical takeoff and landing aircraft,” said Helen Ramirez, Deputy City Manager and CEO of the Greater Brownville Incentives Corporation. Ramirez emphasized the impact that VTOL will have on the city of Brownville, the region, the state of Texas, and nation.
“Brownsville was selected from over 50 cities in Texas,” said Ramirez, “because of our attributes-- our open mindedness, our innovation, and because of you, the community.” With a smile on her face, Ramirez said, “We are going places.”
Paragon VTOL Aerospace plans to build a manufacturing hub on designated industrial land at the Brownsville South Padre Island International Airport. Paragon VTOL is also developing flight management software systems to assist future air traffic controllers and is making plans to develop a vertiport for vertical liftoffs, landings, and service. Smith said the company has acquired a capital commitment of over a billion dollars just for the micro grids that will power the vertiports.