Virgin Group’s Alex Tai to Set Up Shop in Mojave

The hangar where Alex Tai's company will house its jets was the site of a robotics competition last Saturday. (Credit: Douglas Messier)

By Douglas Messier
Parabolic Arc Managing Editor

A company led by the Virgin Group’s Director of Special Projects Alex Tai is the Mojave Air and Space Port’s newest tenant.

Last week, the East Kern Airport District Board of Directors authorized Mojave Air & Space Port CEO Stu Witt to finalize a lease for Tai’s company, Super Sonic Jet, Inc., of Nevada. Tai plans to house a small fleet of Eastern Bloc fighters in Building 70, a hangar adjacent to the airport’s Administration building.

Witt said that the company plans to store three MiG-21 and one Aero L-39 Albatros fighters in the hangar beginning on May 1. He said Tai and other pilots will be flying the aircraft out of Mojave for recreational purposes.

“They want to have some fun with their friends flying,” Witt told the Board.

The two-year lease requires a monthly payment of $6,893 for a total of $82,725.60 for the year. The agreement includes six, two-year renewal options.

Tai was formerly vice president of Virgin Galactic, which is Richard Branson’s space tourism company. Below is his official biography from the Virgin Oceanic website.

Trained as a pilot in the UK Royal Air Force, Tai went on to fly executive jets and holds a number of world records for flights with the U.S. adventurer Steve Fossett, including world records for fastest flights both east and west about in class C-1. Tai started his career within Virgin as an airline pilot for Virgin Atlantic. In 1997 he embarked on special projects for Sir Richard Branson. Tai worked on the Virgin Galactic project from conception. He also helped start Virgin Racing- Virgin’s Formula One team. He now is Virgin’s lead on the Virgin Oceanic project.