Textron Powers Up New eAviation Division

 - March 26, 2021, 2:40 PM
Textron's newly formed eAviation unit will be able to leverage expertise throughout the corporation. Its Bell unit already has been working on the Nexus air taxi (pictured here) and Autonomous Pod Transport (APT). (Photo: Curt Epstein)

Textron is formalizing its presence in the electric aircraft market with the formation of a new division called eAviation. The company today confirmed to AIN that long-time senior executive Rob Scholl has been named to head the unit in a senior v-p role that reports directly to Textron chairman and CEO Scott Donnelly. Scholl previously was the senior v-p of sales and marketing at Textron Aviation.

Scholl’s new role was described by Textron as leveraging “the work across our aerospace and defense businesses to develop new opportunities and take advantage of our fixed-wing and rotorcraft expertise in emerging technologies.” He will be charged with assembling enterprise talent throughout Textron, building external partnerships, and creating a path for further development and utilization of aircraft electrification and connected mobility technologies in the global market. 

In a call with stock analysts in January, Donnelly said Textron intended to take a cautious approach to the eVTOL market. “I do think we have to be cautious here in terms of not getting too far out front of a regulatory environment that's very uncertain to allow that business model to be successful,” he said. 

But Textron's Bell has already been working on both manned and unmanned electric aircraft for some time with both its Nexus air taxi and Autonomous Pod Transport (APT) designs. Evidence that Textron intended to co-mingle expertise on these aircraft and other vertical lift programs emerged last year when Bell established an office on Textron Aviation’s Wichita campus.