Mr. Patten has been in charge of engineering, design and development since joining Patten in 1966. He is the eldest son of the company’s founder.
During his storied career in the inflatable industry Mr. Patten has worked closely with NASA, a longstanding Patten customer. He was Project Engineer for the Apollo emergency life raft program, with these rafts going to the moon and back. Mr. Patten also worked on all aspects of design and production for Skylab’s Emergency Abort All-Climate life rafts that were deployed around the world. Most recently, NASA engaged Mr. Patten to help develop both a flotation collar and new life raft for its current ORION space capsule program.
His creativity and vast engineering experience in inflatables also led to a patented dive boat design, permitting the diver to swim directly into the boat rather than crawling over the boat’s side. This design is presently used by search and rescue departments around the U.S. and Canada, as well as commercial dive operations throughout the world.
Mr. Patten is presently involved in two crucial projects. The first is the ongoing design, development and engineering of a full-scale inflatable Boeing 737 for ARFF training. The prototype was recently utilized for the triennial first responder exercises at Denver International and Palm Beach International airports. The second project is a comprehensive re-design of the legacy 20-person life raft for the U.S. Department of Defense, where Mr. Patten has been charged with leading the engineering effort to design a mil-spec welded raft for large troop transports.