#NewSpace Column – DeltaV Aerospace

High speed UAV
High speed UAV. Travel at Mach 0.9. Used for reconnaissance mission or for carrying a variety of payloads. Built by DeltaV Aerospace

DeltaV Aerospace is a privately owned aerospace engineering company in South Africa. Founded in 2014 by Ferdi Herbst and Darren Pierce, the Cape Town-based company has tenaciously claimed its spot in the aerospace design value chain in South Africa.

The company is part of an extensive network of experts and industrial partners. The company develops solutions in aerospace, propulsion and systems engineering with core capabilities in design, simulation, assembly, integration and testing.

We recently had a chat with one of the founders and CEO, Darren Pierce, who walked us through the company’s journey in the past five years.


The Team

The older veteran, Ferdi Herbst who is the current Chairman of the Board managed SunSpace and Information Systems (Pty) Ltd for a time, a spin-off company from Stellenbosch University that pioneered the newspace movement in South Africa.  Ferdi Herbst has decades of c-suite executive experience, having served on the board of several high tech and defence organizations in South Africa, including SunSpace, Denel Aerospace, Space Commercial Services (Pty), Space Advisory Company among others. Ferdi Herbst brings invaluable veteran experience and network to the table.

Darren worked with SunSpace, Simera Technology and Space Advisory Company before rolling up his sleeves to co-found DeltaV Aerospace.

The dynamic duo pulled off DeltaV Aerospace in 2014 with a team of about ten co-founders and employees and by 2015, the company had expanded to double its workforce and engineering services. As of the start of 2019, the company has about 63 employees with diverse backgrounds in engineering, aerospace and other related specialities.

The company’s workforce dynamics and diversity further exposes how intertwined the South African aerospace industry bonds with the country’s research universities. DeltaV workforce demographics boasts of institutional professionals, including 3 professors, 7 PhDs and 17 masters. The company maintains close professional relations with the Universities of Stellenbosch and Cape Town.

The team has aerospace heritage from the first generation space defence projects in South Africa. Many worked on the South African Launcher, Gas Turbine and missile programs.



DeltaV Aerospace core technology design and engineering solutions include gas turbines, rocket motors, satellites, UAVs, small launcher, liquid engines, pyro starter, among other technologies. The company specialises in several aerospace-related technologies.

DeltaV Aerospace Technologies
DeltaV Aerospace Technologies. The infographic indicates the various technologies sized according to the revenue stream of the company.

Note: DeltaV Aerospace does not have the necessary licences or company-owned propellant facilities for the manufacturing of Solid Rocket Motors.

The company is also exploring in-house research aimed at developing innovations and growing capacity in the area of artificial intelligence and hypersonics.

DeltaV worked alongside other companies and institutions in the development of South Africa’s first privately owned satellite – nSight-1 according to the official press release from SCS Space.

A Trajectory of  Milestones

DeltaV Aerospace Company History
A highlight of milestones achieved by DeltaV Aerospace from 2014 to 2019

The pictures below show some aerospace engineering components manufactured by DeltaV



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