David Smith

David Smith, Senior Vice President & General Manager, TRU Simulation + Training

David Smith is the Senior Vice President and General Manager of TRU Simulation + Training, which offers flight simulation and aircraft training products to the global commercial, civil and military aviation training markets. David also oversees the operations, strategy and global sales for TRU’s business aviation division. 

In addition to leading TRU, David also serves on the Board of Directors for FlightSafety Textron Aviation Training, the training services joint-venture that TRU established in early 2019 with FlightSafety International.

David spent the first ten years of his Textron career at Bell Helicopter, most recently as the Program Director for the Bell Helicopter 505 Jet Ranger X program, which received internal accolades through the Chairman’s Award for Innovation and successfully reached its first flight nearly one month early and significantly under budget. There he created a high-performance culture focused on designing, testing and manufacturing the next generation of Bell Helicopter products. While at Bell, David was instrumental on another high-profile program, the Bell 525, where he developed a system for converting high level customer requirements into design requirements for use by both engineering and operations teams.

In 2015, David was promoted to Vice President of TRU’s Training Centers and Services business. In this role, David expanded TRU’s array of training centers and solutions around the world and played a key role in establishing TRU’s joint venture with FlightSafety International in early 2019. In his most recent role as vice president and general manager, Business Aviation, David focused on delivering quality simulators for our Textron products.

In addition to his leadership capabilities, David is also a certified Six Sigma Green Belt and a member of the American Helicopter Society and is a proud Eagle Scout.

David is a graduate of Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) earning a Bachelor of Science degree in Aeronautical Engineering as well as the University of Texas at Austin where he earned a Master of Business Administration degree. David and his wife, Emily, live in Tampa, Florida with their son McKinley.

How to Stay Agile in a World of Evolving Pilot Training

In today’s world of ever-changing FAA and EASA flight training requirements and a shortage of pilots, training device manufacturers and training providers should learn how to be more agile than ever before. Anticipating change is a vital part of meeting the pilot training industry’s needs, but what does that mean?

Because of evolving technology, FPTs and FTDs are now viable solutions that are capable, affordable, and faithful in fidelity; and they are on par with the Level D FFS and the actual aircraft. Knowing this major shift in the training mindset is here, simulator OEMs should already be adapting. 

TRU Simulation + Training is sharing insight on tackling this head-on with new advances in its simulation technology. From high-fidelity FTDs, mini motion and a vastly improved control loading system, TRU will explain why it’s not about going big, but going small and how it is working to adapt its technology to fit the needs of the aviation training industry.