Textron's leader talks about the future of aerospace ... and who will make that future happen. Scott C. Donnelly, president of CEO of Textron Inc., was a volunteer leader at the 2010 Team America Rocketry Challenge.

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 (seventh 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 to 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.