In April, Bell named Jason Hurst as its new vice president of innovation, after more than 17 years at the company. Hurst is a graduate of the University of North Texas, and received a Master of Science in Engineering Management from the University of Texas at Arlington. He joined Bell in 2002 as a project engineer on the V-22 Osprey. After nine years, Hurst took a series of manager positions, including the advanced technology tiltrotor, V-280 assembly and integration, V-22 advanced derivatives, V-280 business development and then, as program manager of the V-247 Vigilant from July 2016 to January 2019. He was most recently the director of advanced programs. In his current position, Hurst is responsible for the company’s advanced technology projects for civil and military rotorcraft, as well as the electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) Nexus air taxi and Autonomous Pod Transport (APT) cargo drone. Hurst replaces Scott Drennan who left the company for Hyundai (see “Leadership Moves,” Vertiflite, May/June 2020). (See above photo.)
Wisk Appoints Dalton as VP of Global Partnerships
In April, Wisk — the Boeing-Kitty Hawk joint venture developing the Cora eVTOL — appointed Dan Dalton as vice president of global partnerships, joining the company's executive leadership team. In his new role, Dalton will lead Wisk's global regulatory initiatives and business partnerships. “Working with regulators, policy-makers, and industry partners, Dan will be a key contributor in driving strategic efforts that further the company's go-to-market strategy to bring its all-electric, self-flying air taxi to the sky,” the company said.
Williams Appointed Vertical Aerospace Chief Engineer
In early May, Bristol, UK-based Vertical Aerospace announced that it had appointed Tim Williams to the role of chief engineer, responsible for leading the development of the company’s third eVTOL aircraft. “Tim brings a tremendous 34 years of aerospace experience to the team with a proven track record leading large teams in developing and delivering new product, as well as supporting established products in service,” the company said in a statement.
During his time at Rolls-Royce, Williams held numerous leadership positions including chief design engineer and chief project engineer; he spent the past 10 years as a chief engineer, accountable for a wide range of combat, transport and helicopter engines. One highlight of his career was taking the RTM322 helicopter engine through its Civil Certification Process, which involved a high level of engineering support across the globe.
Most recently, he led the engineering team to support a large service fleet of military engines across the world, where he had technical accountability for product safety and integrity, technical strategy, product development, certification and in-service continuous improvement across a wide range of engine programs. At Vertical, he will lead the technical development of its advanced winged eVTOL, which the company is aiming to certify by 2024.
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