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Classic Aero-TV: Textron's Donnelly -- You CAN Get Paid For Having This Much Fun

Textron's Leader Talks About the Future Of Aerospace... And Who Will Make It Happen

ANN E-I-C Note: In light of the surprise announcement of the retirement of Cessna's Jack Pelton, we thought you might find this interview with Textron boss Scott Donnelly, who will replace Pelton on an interim basis, interesting viewing for the moment. As the guy who will be making the decisions for mighty Cessna for the foreseeable future, this interview provides some intriguing insights into Donnelly, his background, and his thoughts about the future of the aviation and aerospace biz...

ANN was blown away by what we saw and learned at the 2010 Team America Rocketry Challenge... all around were GREAT kids... assisted by GREAT adults employed in seeking GREAT goals... and collectively having a ball. What was wrong with that? NOTHING... absolutely nothing.

And one of the reasons for the many successes we saw that day was the leadership so generously provided by industry power players who were willing to give of themselves so that they could have a hand in shaping the next generation of Rocketeers. One such power player was the head of Textron, himself, Scott Donnelly. Scott C. Donnelly is president and chief executive officer of Textron Inc. Donnelly oversees Textron's business units as well as the corporation's Information Technology, Six Sigma, Engineering and Global Sourcing functions.

Donnelly joined Textron in July 2008 as executive vice president and chief operating officer and was promoted to president and chief operating officer in January 2009. He became CEO in December 2009. Donnelly was previously president and CEO for General Electric (GE) Aviation, the world's leading producer of large and small jet engines for commercial and military aircraft and a major provider of flight management, actuation and power management systems. Prior to that, he served as senior vice president and director of GE Global Research, the world's largest and most diversified industrial research organization. He also serves as chairman for the Aerospace Industries Association.

The Team America Rocketry Challenge (TARC) is an aerospace design and engineering event for teams of US secondary school students (7th through 12th grades) run by the NAR and the Aerospace Industries Association (AIA). Teams can be sponsored by schools or by non-profit youth organizations such as Scouts, 4-H, or Civil Air Patrol (but not the NAR or other rocketry organizations). The goal of TARC is to motivate students to pursue aerospace as an exciting career field, and it is co-sponsored by the American Association of Physics Teachers, 4-H, the Department of Defense, and NASA.

The event involves designing and building a model rocket (2.2 pounds or less, using NAR-certified model rocket motors totaling no more than 80.0 Newton-seconds of total impulse) that carries a payload of 1 Grade A Large egg for a flight duration of 40 - 45 seconds, and to an altitude of exactly 825 feet (measured by an onboard altimeter), and that then returns the egg to earth uncracked using only a streamer as a recovery device. Onboard timers are allowed; radio-control and pyrotechnic charges are not.

The first seven Team America Rocketry Challenges, held in 2003 through 2009, were the largest model rocket contests ever held. Co-sponsored by the NAR and the Aerospace Industries Association (AIA), the five events together attracted about 5,100 high-school teams made up of a total of over 50,000 students from all 50 states.

These students had a serious interest in learning about aerospace design and engineering through model rocketry. The top 100 teams each year came to a final fly-off competition in late May near Washington, DC, to compete for $60,000 in prizes. These teams were selected based on the scores reported from qualification flights that they conducted locally throughout the US.



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