Blog

David Franson
July 15, 2015

Order Copies of Jack DeBoer’s Risk Only Money

 

When Wichita businessman Jack DeBoer spoke at the Wichita Aero Club’s July 13 event at Wichita Air Services, he detailed his use of airplanes in the conduct of his highly successful business ventures, citing a number of examples from his book,  Risk Only Money.  The Aero Club offered copies of the volume for sale after the presentation and promptly sold out!  If you’d like to order a copy for only $20–well below the retail price in bookstores–you can do so by calling the Aero Club office at 681-4471.  We’ll be acquiring a limited additional quantity in the near future.  As with the purchases at the July 13 event–and for every book sold–all proceeds will go to support World Vision.

The reception, which was attended by 100 people despite the 100 degree heat,  also honored WAC Stimpson  Scholarship winner Karen Morrison of Kansas State University-Salina.  Ms. Morrison also flew in the recently-concluded Women’s Air Race Classic. Three members of the KSU-Salina faculty were also in attendance and Textron Aviation also displayed its newly-certified Citation Latitude.   It was the first time the latest addition to the Citation fleet had been shown publicly in Wichiita.

 

David Franson
April 16, 2015

WICHITA’S AIRPORT: What’s in the Name?

Dwight D. Eisenhower made more extensive use of airplanes than virtually any of his predecessors, so naming an airport in his home state after him isn’t really all that unusual. The former general and 34th President was from Abilene, Kansas, and he even learned to fly himself. His granddaughter, Mary Jean, points out that, as President, he held a pilot’s license…but not a driver’s license! Still, that’s probably not a good enough reason, by itself, to re-name the Wichita airport in his honor. Critics tend to point out that he was an Army general, not an Air Force officer and his connection to the Air Capital was therefore, a bit tenuous.  They even suggested that there might be some other prominent Wichitans who might warrant more consideration as long as we were considering re-identifying the airport in the state’s largest city.  They would note that he didn’t even fly to Wichita when he returned to his childhood home. He would land in Kansas City and drive out to Abilene.

It’s true he didn’t frequent Wichita even as an adult.  There is, however, evidence that he made a couple of campaign stops here and there are still a few people in town who remember seeing him drop into town both as a military officer and as a presidential candidate.  On one occasion, for instance, he visited Boeing at the old Municipal Airport (now McConnell Air Force Base) in 1951 to see a demonstration of the Boeing Scout , a post war trainer. where he posed with a pair of native American shop foremen, Gordon Bushyhead and Francis Stumblingbear, for a publicity photo. Ike, who had been reactivated during the Korean Conflict, wore his general’s uniform. The two Boeing workers donned buckskins and headdresses from a local costume shop. The picture made it into the newspapers.  The Scout, on the other hand, never made it into mass production. Ike didn’t make many more visits to the Boeing plant, either.

When President Eisenhower was elected to the White House he made a number of trips west to visit family. In fact, in what would be unheard of today, he spent six weeks at the home of a family member during the Summer of 1953. It happened to be his wife’s mother, in suburban Denver, Colorado–not Abilene, Kansas–so the closest he came to Wichita on that occasion was to fly over on the way to and from Washington.

But, Ike did learn to fly and, as his great grandson, Merrill Eisenhower Atwater told me during the celebration of the new airline terminal at the airport that now bears his name, he made numerous trips through Wichita to Abilene and logged hours in the Kansas skies as a pilot in command, as well. His logbooks, in fact, are on file at the Eisenhower Presidential Library in Abilene.

Being elected the President of the United State gave Ike a leg up on other Kansans in the competition for the title of our state’s most prominent citizen, but probably ranks him at least second when it comes to consideration for Kansas’s most famous aviator. That probably goes to Amelia Earhart. Chances are, if she had returned from her ill-fated 1937 circumnavigation of the globe, the sentiment for naming the airport in the Air Capital might well have tilted in her direction instead…assuming Atchison hadn’t already claimed it!

David Franson
April 16, 2015

WICHITA’S AIRPORT: WHAT’S IN THE NAME?

Dwight D. Eisenhower made more extensive use of airplanes than virtually any of his predecessors, so naming an airport in his home state after him isn’t really all that unusual.  The former general and 34th President was from Abilene, Kansas, and he eve

n learned to fly himself.  His granddaughter, Mary Jean, points out that, as President, he held a pilot’s license…but not a driver’s license!  Still, that’s probably not a good enough reason, by itself, to re-name the Wichita airport in his honor.  Critics tend to point out that he was an Army general, not an Air Force officer and his connection to the Air Capital was therefore, a bit tenuous.  They even suggested that there might be some other prominent Wichitans who might warrant more consideration as long as we were considering re-identifying the airport in the state’s largest city.  They would note that he didn’t even fly to Wichita when he returned to his childhood home.  He would land in Kansas City and drive out to Abilene.

It’s true he didn’t frequent Wichita even as an adult.  There is, however, evidence  that he made a couple of campaign stops here and there are still a few people in town who remember seeing him drop into town both as a military officer and as a presidential candidate.  On one occasion, for instance, he visited Boeing at the old Municipal Airport (now McConnell Air Force Base) in 1951 to see a demonstration of the Boeing Scout , a post war trainer.  where he posed with a pair of native American shop foremen, Gordon Bushyhead and Francis Stumblingbear, for a publicity photo. Ike, who had been reactivated during the Korean Conflict, wore his general’s uniform.

The two Boeing workers donned buckskins and headdresses from a local costume shop.  The pictu

re made it into the newspapers.  The Scout, on the other hand, never made it into mass production. Ike didn’t make many more visits to the Boeing plant, either.

When President Eisenhower was elected to the White House he made a number of trips  west to visit family.  In fact, in what would be unheard of today, he spent six weeks at the home of a family member during the Summer of 1953.  It happened to be his wife’s mother,  in suburban Denver, Colorado–not Abilene, Kansas–so the closest he came to Wichita on that occasion was to fly over on the way to and from Washington.

But, Ike did learn to fly and, as his great grandson, Merrill Eisenhower Atwater told me during the celebration of the new airline terminal at the airport that now

bears his name, he made numerous trips through Wichita to Abilene and logged hours in the Kansas skies as a pilot in command, as well.  His logbooks, in fact, are on file at the Eisenhower Presidential Library in Abilene.

Being elected the President of the United State gave Ike a leg up on other Kansans in the competition for the title of our state’s most prominent citizen, but probably ranks him at least second when it comes to consideration for Kansas’s most famous aviator.  That probably goes to Amelia Earhart.  Chances are, if she had returned from her ill-fated 1937 circumnavigation of the globe, the sentiment for naming the airport in the Air Capital might well have tilted in her direction instead…assuming Atchison hadn’t already claimed it!

tessa
March 23, 2015

Act Now! Airport Gala Tickets Are Going Fast!

Wichita Aero Club Members and Guests:  Act now!  We have only a limited number of discounted tickets for this special event still available…and they are going fast!  WAC Members and their guests can purchase tickets at a 20% discount–$100 each–while they last.

The Wichita City Council has voted to open this event to the public so it is expected to sell out.  Sponsors and VIPs will account for a significant number of the 800 tickets allotted for the event.  The Wichita Aero Club has purchased a block of 100 tickets at full price and we’re making them available to our members at the reduced rate as a way of saying “Thank you” to our members for your support!  More than half of those tickets have already been reserved.  Don’t wait!  Call 316-681-4471 or go online now to reserve your tickets for admission to this historic and memorable Dedication Gala progressive dinner with dazzling displays of international cuisines from Wichita’s City Sisters in China, Mexico and France alongside American classic dishes from New York and Texas located at food and beverage stations throughout the impressive new terminal.

tessa
March 5, 2015

WICHITA AERO CLUB OFFERS MEMBERS SPECIAL PRICE TO ATTEND AIRPORT TERMINAL GALA ON APRIL 11

By Invitation Grand Opening Event Will Feature Music, Food, VIPs

The Wichita Aero Club is offering its members a very special opportunity to be a part of an important milestone in the Air Capital’s aviation history…and at a special price not available to the public!  A limited number of tickets are being made available for the Grand Opening Gala of the new Airline Terminal at Dwight D. Eisenhower National Airport on Saturday evening, April 11. The celebration will include a variety of musical offerings from local artists, highlighted by the Wichita Symphony, gourmet food and drink stations located at various points of interest throughout the new terminal, guided tours, and short presentations by local VIP guests and dignitaries.  Invitations to the event are offering tickets at $125 each.  However, as a co-sponsor of the Gala, the Wichita Aero Club is providing tickets to our members at a price of $100 each on a first-come/first serve basis!

“The re-naming of our airport to honor the only president who called our state his home and the opening of a brand new, state-of-the-art airline terminal is a once in a lifetime milestone and certainly a memorable part of our aviation history,” noted Dave Franson, Wichita Aero Club President.  “We’re honored to be included in the planning and hosting of this event and even more pleased to be able to offer our members the opportunity to be a part of it at a price that’s not available anywhere else.

“This is a benefit we’re offering to those who have loyally supported the Wichita Aero Club and the local aviation community over the past several years through their attendance at our luncheons, involvement in our educational programs, and attention to the issues that affect our industry.  We have purchased a quantity of tickets at face value (because the proceeds go to the Airport Foundation to defray expenses associated with the opening of the new facility) and we’re reducing the price to our members as a way of thanking them and ensuring that they can be  included in this memorable event,” he explained.

To receive the WAC discount, Aero Club members can order Airport Gala tickets by visiting the website at www.wichitaaeroclub.org or by calling the Aero Club at 681-4471 and providing names of attendees. Purchases of tickets can be made with VISA, MasterCard, or Discover Card or by check sent to the Wichita Aero Club at 151 South Whittier Street, Suite 100, Wichita, KS 67207.

David Franson
January 28, 2015

Aircraft Electronics Association President Paula Derks Will Address FAA Mandates At February 17 Wichita Aero Club Luncheon

Aircraft Electronics Association President Paula Derks will serve as the featured speaker at the Wichita Aero Club’s monthly luncheon scheduled for 11:45 a.m. CST on Tuesday, Feb. 17 at the DoubleTree by Hilton in Wichita, Kansas. During her remarks, Derks is expected to discuss the ADS-B Out equipment mandate and the industry’s readiness to meet the Jan. 1, 2020, deadline set by the Federal Aviation Administration several years ago. ADSB stands for Automatic Dependent Surveilance-Broadcast technology by which an aircraft determines its position utilizing satellite navigation and periodically transmits it so that it can be tracked by air traffic control. It can also be received by other aircraft to provide situational awareness and allow them to maintain safe separation distances. ADSB equipment is already mandatory in portions of Australian airspace and it’s part of the US Next Generation Air Transportation System, commonly referred to as “Next Gen” and the Single European Sky ATM Research or (SESAR) requirements. “In Wichita, we have a lot of people who can provide in-depth expertise on just about anything that has to do with the airframe side of commercial aviation because we’re immersed in the production and operation of airplanes,” explained Wichita Aero Club President Dave Franson. “But the technology and regulation on the avionics and electronics side of the industry has been advancing at an extraordinary pace and keeping up with the developments, operating environment and mandates that effect that segment is a daunting task. We’re fortunate to have Paula here to give us some insight into what’s happening in this important arena.”

AEA will host its annual convention in Dallas in April, as well, bringing together the industry’s leading manufacturers and experts on operators
The Wichita Aero Club was established to foster and promote interest in aviation, to provide a forum that focuses on the industry’s issues and achievements, and to bring together those with a passion for flight in an environment that expands and enhances professional relationships and furthers cooperation and understanding. Tickets for the Feb. 17 luncheon may be purchased online via the Wichita Aero Club website.

tessa
October 22, 2014

Wichita Aero Club Trophy Will Be Presented to Sullivan Higdon & Sink Co-Founder, Former Learjet Executive Al Higdon

The Wichita Aero Club recently announced that the fifth annual Wichita Aero Club Trophy will be presented to former Learjet Public Relations Executive and co-founder of Sullivan Higdon & Sink Advertising Al Higdon at its annual trophy gala on Jan. 24, 2015, at the Doubletree by Hilton Hotel Wichita Airport. Along with Jim Greenwood, who served with him in the Learjet PR office, Higdon can be credited with making “Learjet” virtually a generic term for business jets, and he helped to establish corporate aviation as a viable industry segment in its early days.

“Al Higdon’s contribution to business aviation can’t be overstated, nor can his exceptional abilities as a communicator, creative thinker, and a business and community leader,” noted Dave Franson, Wichita Aero Club President. “He has made extraordinary contributions in virtually every area of endeavor he pursued throughout a very distinguished career, and he has done so with exemplary grace and humility. We are extremely pleased to announce him as this year’s recipient of the Wichita Aero Club Trophy,” he added.

The citation that accompanies the nomination reads:
Of the thousands of professionals involved in modern business aviation since its inception, few have had such a positive, far-reaching influence on the way people around the world perceive it as Al Higdon.

Beginning early in his career, and throughout his professional life, Al’s work has influenced the way people around the world – both industry insiders and the general population – perceive aviation. In the early 1960s, Al’s efforts to promote the newly launched Learjet led to the brand becoming synonymous with “business jet.” As part of Bill Lear’s public relations team, Al worked to promote a brand-new product in a newly emerging market segment and was an early innovator of nontraditional brand building (e.g., pursuing Hollywood product placements, posting world speed records, etc.). The Learjet became a household name, in large part, because Al was its “agent,” helping secure the aircraft exposure on TV shows and movies such as “Capricorn One” and “In Like Flint.

In 1971, Al joined forces with longtime friend and fellow aviation-marketing expert, Wendell Sullivan. Their agency, which became Sullivan Higdon & Sink, worked with major aviation clients and continues to do so today – nearly two decades after Al’s retirement – a true testament to his ability to build a sustainable legacy. Through the years, SHS clients have comprised a “who’s who” of aviation companies, including Learjet, Cessna, Rockwell Collins, AMR Combs, Signature Flight Support, XM Satellite Weather, Spirit AeroSystems, TECT Corporation, Curtiss-Wright Controls, Lycoming Engines and many more.

With Al contributing greatly to the communications efforts, innumerable aircraft models, aviation products and related services have successfully entered the market, connected with a customer base and thrived. And in this very tough industry, that’s no slam dunk. Higdon-led marketing, advertising and publicity have played pivotal roles in ensuring that new brands and products gained a foothold and then remained viable over time. Al and his team helped clients differentiate their products from competitors through relevant, creative messaging that potential buyers simply could not ignore.

As a lifelong citizen of Wichita, Al also distinguished himself as a respected civic leader, entrepreneur, employer and educator. In addition to co-founding an internationally recognized marketing and advertising firm, he has generously given his time and expertise to countless organizations who focus on strengthening the business environment and quality of life in south-central Kansas. What’s more, the region’s aviation industry has benefited greatly from these efforts. The list of organizations that have benefited from Al’s involvement include:

the Wichita Chamber of Commerce, the Greater Wichita Economic Development Coalition, the Wichita Convention and Visitors Bureau, Wichita State University, the American Red Cross, the Wichita Aero Club, and others.

“Awarding Al Higdon the Wichita Aero Club Trophy not only recognizes the value of his contributions but those made by every function in the aviation and aerospace value chain – from design to manufacturing to marketing to support,” noted Tom Bertels, Wichita Aero Club Founding Board Member and current Managing Partner at Sullivan Higdon & Sink. “Al’s selection says, ‘No matter what role a person plays, it’s important. You don’t necessarily need to be an executive at an OEM or an engineering guru to make a significant contribution to this important industry.’ There may be a more obvious choice for this award than an aviation advertising and PR guy, but I don’t think there’s a better one. I believe that recognizing a person who dedicated his entire career to help build a sustainable, viable market for business aviation products and services is an unquestionably good decision, and we’re extremely proud that the founder of this agency has been selected to receive the Wichita Aero Club Trophy.”

Established in 2008 to foster and promote interest in aviation and provide a forum focused on the industry’s issues and achievements, the Wichita Aero Club brings those with a passion for flight together in an environment that expands and enhances professional relationships and furthers cooperation and understanding.

The WAC Trophy is awarded annually to a living person, group or existing organization with a strong relationship to the greater Wichita area who have distinguished themselves in the field of aviation or aerospace within the most recent calendar year or during a cumulative career of significant achievement and contribution. For more information on the Wichita Aero Club, the Jan. 24 Gala or other Wichita Aero Club events, call 316-681-4491 or visit the Wichita Aero Club website at www.wichitaaeroclub.org.

tessa
October 6, 2014

Humphrey Scholarship Application Deadline Extended

In an effort to enable students maximum time to apply for the H. Dean Humphrey Scholarship, the deadline has been extended until October 31, 2014.

The H. Dean Humphrey Scholarship was created in 2013 and is the latest addition to the WAC’s ongoing efforts to encourage aviation education.

This scholarship will not only honor Dean’s memory and lasting legacy, but is designed to support students who wish to follow his example into communications, administrative, or other non-technical roles in aviation-related organizations.

This scholarship seeks applicants who wish to make a significant contribution to the business of aviation and aerospace through public relations, communications, or other business-related fields of study.

Applying for WAC scholarships can be accomplished quickly and easily through our website. You can submit your application along with a copy of your transcript prior to the scholarship deadline. A certified official transcript will be required from finalists prior to the granting of awards.

tessa
August 20, 2014

Download Rollie Vincent’s August Luncheon Presentation

Rollie Vincent, President of Rolland Vincent Associates, recently spoke to the Wichita Aero Club and provided a very interesting industry forecast.

Click the link below to download Rollie’s presentation:
BizJets Bubbles and the Next Detroit

Vincent has almost 30 years of experience in business, regional and international aviation, including Bombardier, Cessna, Learjet, Flexjet, and ICAO.

With a background in market research, economics and statistics, he has held senior leadership positions in marketing, strategy, business development, and consulting. He is quite familiar with Wichita having served as Vice President of Strategy & Business Development at Cessna, Director of International Airline Analysis at Bombardier Aerospace, Director of Marketing, Strategy & Business Development at Flexjet, and Director of Strategy & Communications at Learjet.

tessa
August 7, 2014

Wichita Aero Club Presents Rollie Vincent at August Luncheon

Wichita, KS — August 5, 2014 – The Wichita Aero Club’s August luncheon will feature celebrated aviation forecaster Rollie Vincent. The luncheon will be held August 19 at 11:45 a.m. in the Emerald Ballroom of the Doubletree Hilton Wichita Airport Hotel.
Rollie Vincent is President of Rolland Vincent Associates. He has almost 30 years of experience in business, regional and international aviation, including work at ICAO.
With a background in market research, economics and statistics, he has held senior leadership positions in marketing, strategy, business development, and consulting. His roles have included Vice President of Strategy & Business Development at Cessna, Director of International Airline Analysis at Bombardier Aerospace, Director of Marketing, Strategy & Business Development at Flexjet, and Director of Strategy & Communications at Learjet.
Vincent will be speaking on changing aspects of the aviation industry likely to affect Wichita. “Like an old aluminum airframe, aviation forecasters have been dinged many times for having called recoveries too soon or for missing the next big turn in the market,” Vincent said. “More than 6 ½ years after the onset of the Great Recession, important questions remain: Have business jet demand and supply forces permanently changed? Is commercial aircraft the next bubble to burst? Is The Air Capital the aircraft industry‘s Detroit?”
Vincent has an MBA in international business and marketing, and a BA and MA in urban and economic geography from McGill University.
“Rollie brings a unique perspective as a speaker since he has firsthand experience at many of Wichita’s aviation companies including Bombardier, Cessna, Learjet, and Flexjet,” said Dave Franson, President of the Wichita Aero Club. “He possesses a wealth of knowledge of the general aviation marketplace and his presentation will not be one to miss.”
WAC luncheon tickets for members are $30 and $40 for nonmembers. Tickets can be purchased online at our website, www.wichitaaeroclub.org, on the selected luncheon page under Events Schedule. Ticket purchases may also be made by calling 316.681.4471.
The Wichita Aero Club was established in 2008 to foster and promote interest in aviation, provide a forum focused on the industry’s issues and achievements and bring together those with a passion for flight in an environment that expands and enhances professional relationships and furthers cooperation and understanding.