Exclusive outtakes from industry leaders
Aerospace Industries Association Chief Executive Officer Marion Blakey says when she started working on aviation issues earlier in her career she was hooked.
She has held a number of prominent positions in Washington that emphasized transportation and safety.
He’s been head of NASA, the Navy, and Louisiana State University and spent practically his whole professional life in either government or academia.
So when it came time for the next step on a varied career path, Sean O’Keefe broke from the past and chose the corporate route.
For some fans, Boeing’s first test flight of its new 787 Dreamliner this week was apparently a virtual postcard.
The aerospace company says people sent about 25,000 postcards electronically of the lightweight commercial plane made primarily from carbon-based plastics and titanium.
Goodrich Corp. Chief Financial Officer Scott Kuechle recalls when he first started at the company about 25 years ago the firm was mainly in tires, commodity chemicals and industrial products. Aerospace defense was a “very small” component buried in its industrial business.
“It was really visionary by some of the leaders back then to understand what of those industries were really going to survive and thrive in the next generation of workers and where the economy was going,” he said in an interview at a Reuters Aerospace and Defense Summit.
On the surface, it would appear that a fighter pilot would have little interest in a remotely piloted aircraft, which more and more are being used in wars for reconnaissance and firing missiles.
It isn’t too big a leap to wonder whether in the future perhaps drones will take away jobs from fighter pilots.
The Chief Executive Officer of L-3 Communications says he’s a “city kid” from New York who worked his way up from loading trucks in the Bronx as a college student to being in charge of a large U.S. defense contractor.
And so he takes exception when people demonize CEOs just for the sake of it.
“We went though a period of time where CEOs were cast as the villains of the earth,” Michael Strianese said in an interview at the Reuters Aerospace and Defense Summit.
The drone that was formerly known as the unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) has a new name — the Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPA).
Air Force Secretary Michael Donley said Air Force leadership discussed it and made a commitment to use the new term, although it does take some getting used to. “The more we use it, the more comfortable we get with it,” he said in an interview at a Reuters Aerospace and Defense Summit.
Pratt and Whitney President David Hess says corporate jets got a bad rap from Washington and the rhetoric hurt the industry.
Remember the furor over automakers arriving for congressional hearings late last year in corporate jets to ask for bailouts? And how President Barack Obama and his administration was publicly angry that Citigroup was purchasing a $50 million plane while receiving government funds from the Troubled Assets Relief Program.
President Barack Obama was quite blunt earlier this year about a new fleet of presidential helicopters being built by Lockheed Martin Corp., citing it as an example of the procurement process “gone amok.”
And he axed the program, forcing the defense contractor to stop development of the helicopter in mid-air, so to speak.