Thanks to all for the kind words, and special thanks to the PPRuNe moderators, who allowed me to make the transition without fear as one heartless and witless ppruner tried to saw off the limb I was on before the next limb was within reach!
Yes, Gulfstream is a great place to work, and I honestly planned to work there for years, until retirement, but the opportunity that Bell offered was just too grand to pass up. The advancement is wonderful, but so is the promise of working with some of the industry's finest on projects that make my head spin. Research and Development was my dream on the first resume that I prepared back when I graduated from Georgia Tech (Go Jackets!) back in 1973, and is now an essential part of my career.
Yes, Avnx EO, the challenge will be to make it work within the confines of today's corporate America, but I do think the team Dick M has built is a powerhouse - I am willing to bet my career on it! I am also betting on a group of very dedicated engineers and pilots who only ask for someone to get them the resources, constancy and support to make things happen. I believe loyalty goes up and down, and that a leader owes his folks to work as hard as possible to get them what they need to make new things happen. I know that some doubt my desire to develop tilt rotors. To them I say that we must please our customers, who demand more speed than we now deliver. I know that, and I stand ready to learn what those grizzly professionals want to teach me about flying at 300 knots.
I also think that research lies in smaller things, systems and technologies that do not stun, and don't make the Sunday newspaper. Sometimes we feel compelled to develop the better blade, and better transmission, and we forget that a failed microswitch, a missed approach or blown oil seal can spell financial disaster for our customers. Our technological progress has big leaps and small victories, and I would like put together a team that can hit both chip shots and long drives.