This week we are celebrating National Aviation Day by taking a look at the aircraft, people and programs that make SNC a leader in aircraft modification, integration and modernization worldwide. Meet Tim, a senior director of business development for SNC’s aerial ISR programs. Tim has been with SNC for five years and is a veteran Army aviator. He brings that experience to SNC in designing and coordinating fixed-wing aircraft builds for our military customers to provide added capability and performance.
Can you tell us how long you have worked at SNC and what your position is here?
I have worked at SNC for a total of five years.
You are an Army veteran, correct? How has your military experience impacted your career at SNC? What was your transition from military life to SNC like?
I am a 27-year veteran of the U.S. Army, all of it as an aviator. My military experience has been very helpful. I understand the needs of the warfighter and I am able to identify specific areas that SNC solutions and equipment can improve the capabilities and skills of those customers. Interestingly enough, I worked a lot with SNC during my time in the military and was familiar with the organization’s capabilities.
What types of aircraft did you fly throughout your military career?
I spent my entire career as an aviator. I started flying assault and scout aircraft, the UH-1 and OH-58, then transitioned to the AH-64A at the start of the program and flew the Apache for 12 years. I then transitioned to fixed-wing aircraft and spent another 11 years flying Army aerial intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (AISR) aircraft, finishing my career as the INSCOM Standardization Pilot (SIP).
Can you tell us about some of the aviation programs you work on at SNC? What do they do and why are they so important?
I have been lucky enough to work on some very significant Army and DOD programs. The Mission Enhancement Kit was a significant improvement to the aircraft it was installed on, enabling increased mission performance across all environments and operational theaters. It increased mission endurance and significantly increased safety margins for operations in high, hot conditions. I am currently involved in the SNC RAPCON-X™ program which will be a significant, a paradigm shift, in the Army’s modernization of the AISR fleet.
How have you seen aviation technology evolve and change over the years?
I was flying in the military during the periods of great change and modernization, increased performance of the machines and the improvements of the avionics and mission/weapon systems. The current modernizations that are ongoing and that SNC is bringing to the fight are very exciting and provide real adds for the warfighter.
Has your time in the service impacted the way you think about this kind of technology and the need for it?
Very much so, a lot of the things we used back in the 80s and thought were cutting edge, are emergencies today. Being the user it seemed modernization was slow and incremental. Waiting for the newest tech many times seemed disappointing in that it was not what were told it was and could not do what was expected and anticipated.
What excites you about working with this technology or at SNC in general?
The really exciting thing about SNC and technology, is SNC’s willingness to get out ahead of technology and really shape what it is and where it can go.
What do you see for the future of aviation technology, particularly for the military? What’s the next big thing?
The Army is currently in the process of a very big modernization effort in aerial ISR and SNC is heavily involved in shaping that future and making it a reality. The next big thing will be the SNC RAPCON-X, a derivative business jet that will be a paradigm shift in both mission capabilities and mission performance.
As a veteran, what does it mean to you to be involved with developing and delivering this kind of technology into the hands of current service members?
It is very satisfying, I still have friends that are in the service and are operating the equipment SNC has and is developing. I get to hear firsthand how this technology is helping and shaping the future.
What keeps you going when the going gets tough?
Knowing SNC is truly committed to getting it right and willing and able to do what is needed to make a difference. I am proud to be part of the SNC family.
Interested in joining the Sierra Nevada Corporation team? Apply today at sncorp.com/careers.