Raytheon continues to be a technology and innovation trailblazer because of engineers like Giovannucci and Maddalena, who share a high intellect and passion for defense.
Giovannucci’s experience working on the StormBreaker smart weapon combined with his knowledge of hypersonics and ability to solve problems on the fly, led to his lead role on the HAWC program.
“The team was very small and I was involved from the beginning, so it gave me a chance to blaze the way,” said Giovannucci, who started his career at Raytheon after earning a mechanical engineering degree.
A hands-on effort
Giovannucci and Maddalena knew the HAWC missile well, having worked on every step of its development.
“Nick managed many of the procedures and test plans, and we, as the engineers, would then build the missiles and execute the procedures,” Maddalena said.
In between, there were launch rehearsals and all kinds of tests – a hot-battery test to verify the missile’s electrical and power system could support a launch timeline on the ground before flight testing, and a captive-carry test to integrate the system with the range and other assets required for the launch. All were important steps in preparing for the actual flight tests.
And right before the test, they themselves loaded the missile onto the aircraft and ran ground checks to monitor how the system was performing. That was unusual; typically, the people who write the test plans aren’t the same as those who actually conduct the test.
“It’s one of those experiences that most people don’t get their entire career,” said Maddalena, who always wanted to work in aerospace and defense, so she studied aeronautics and became a pilot.