Joining The Tech Team: Hear A Young Engineer's Experience Working In Our Innovation Department

January 04, 2018
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Bell Helicopter is always looking for new minds to bring fresh perspectives to every aspect of our business, especially innovation. The Textron Leadership Development Program allows recent graduates to work two full year rotations in two Textron business units. Program member, Dakota Easley shares his experience working as an engineer in Bell Helicopter’s technology and innovation fields.

What drew you to apply for a rotational program in the aviation industry?

I was drawn to the LDP because I wasn’t really sure what kind of job I wanted after graduation. Being able to experience multiple functions in the aviation industry has really allowed me to find what I like and maybe more importantly what I dislike. Just over a year into the program I’m still unsure of what I specifically want to do but at least now I have experience with what’s available.

What projects are you currently working on?

I’m primarily involved with preliminary design, aerodynamics, flight controls, and hardware integration for one of the projects on the Innovation team. This involves aircraft sizing, performance analysis, structural development, and flight testing. The project I work on consists of a two-person team, so it provides a great opportunity for early career project management.

As an engineer, what is the best part about working at an aviation company that is so heavily focused on innovation?

In this environment, it is very empowering to try off-the wall ideas and see if they work. I personally get a strong sense of fulfilment knowing that what I’m working on could significantly change how the aviation industry operates.

What is some advice you would give to college students looking to obtain a role as an engineer in an innovation department?

I would suggest getting as much hands on experience as you can. Being able to take an idea and build into something is paramount to being successful in an innovation department.

What are some aviation innovations you would like to see in the future?

Right now, there is a lot of buzz around electric autonomous aircraft and I’m especially excited to see what happens around autonomy.  I think as autonomy develops we will see a significant reduction in aviation accidents and near misses.

Which Bell product would you love to ride in?

On the military side, I would love to ride on the V-22. As for the commercial products, I would love to ride on the 429.

Hear from more employees about the benefits of working with Bell Helicopter below:

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Thinking above and beyond is what we do. For more than 80 years, we’ve been reimagining the experience of flight – and where it can take us.

We are pioneers. We were the first to break the sound barrier and to certify a commercial helicopter. We were aboard NASA’s first lunar mission and brought advanced tiltrotor systems to market. Today, we’re defining the future of on-demand mobility.

Headquartered in Fort Worth, Texas – as a wholly-owned subsidiary of Textron Inc., – we have strategic locations around the globe. And with nearly one quarter of our workforce having served, helping our military achieve their missions is a passion of ours.

Above all, our breakthrough innovations deliver exceptional experiences to our customers. Efficiently. Reliably. And always, with safety at the forefront.

About Textron Inc.

Textron Inc. is a multi-industry company that leverages its global network of aircraft, defense, industrial and finance businesses to provide customers with innovative solutions and services. Textron is known around the world for its powerful brands such as Bell Helicopter, Cessna, Beechcraft, Hawker, Jacobsen, Kautex, Lycoming, E-Z-GO, Greenlee, Textron Off Road, Arctic Cat, Textron Systems, and TRU Simulation + Training. For more information, visit:

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