DAYTON, Ohio — Michael L. Heil, Ph.D., president and CEO of the Ohio Aerospace Institute in Cleveland, will be guest speaker at Aviation Trail’s celebration of the 111th anniversary of the Wrights’ first flight Wednesday, Dec. 17.
The dinner and program, including a presentation on the proposed Wright Flyer sculpture at the I-70/I-75 intersection — called the Triumph of Flight monument — is scheduled for the Presidential Banquet Center, 4572 Presidential Way in Kettering.
Tickets are $60 a person and checks should be mailed to Aviation Trail, Inc., P.O. Box 633, Wright Brothers Branch, Dayton, OH 45409 to arrive no later than Monday, Dec. 15. Please indicate your choice of an entrée: beef, chicken or vegetarian.
The evening’s social hour begins at 6 p.m. with dinner served at 7.
Heil, who is no stranger to Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, will focus his speech, “Ohio, the Aerospace State,” on Ohio’s contributions to the space age.
“We need to remember always that the U.S.’s stupendous achievements in the space age actually began with Wilbur and Orville Wright,” commented Aviation Trail President Marvin Christian. “So I feel this is a most appropriate topic for the 111th anniversary celebration.”
The briefing on the Triumph of Flight monument will be presented by George Mongon, who is an advisor to the Wright Image Group on the project, and will feature a 7-foot model of the monument as it is now envisioned.
Heil was appointed to his current position in January 2007. His career brought him to Wright-Patterson for his doctorate in aerospace engineering from the Air Force Institute of Technology where he later became commandant. His master’s degree from Columbia University (1976) was in flight structures on a Guggenheim Fellowship, and he was a distinguished engineering graduate from the U.S. Air Force Academy in 1975.
His Air Force service includes engineering and program management duties in the F-15, C-17 and advanced cruise missile program offices at Wright-Patterson and he has been deputy director of the Astronautics Laboratory, commander of the Phillips Laboratory and the Arnold Engineering Development Center, and special assistant to the commander of the Air Force Research Laboratory at Wright-Patterson.
Heil has served in two Air Force acquisition centers, four defense laboratories, a test center, a major command staff, the Office of the Secretary of Defense, and the faculties of the Air Force Academy and AFIT.
As Director of AFRL’s Propulsion Directorate, he oversaw facilities valued at more than $2.1 billion and led the efforts of more than 1,000 scientist, engineers, and staff.
OAI, a not-for-profit corporation, is a joint initiative of the NASA Glenn Research Center, the Air Force Research Laboratory at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, the State of Ohio, 10 Ohio public and private universities granting doctoral degrees in aerospace-related engineering disciplines and numerous companies engaged in aerospace activities.
ATI was formed in 1981 to promote Dayton’s aviation heritage that began with the invention of the airplane by Wilbur and Orville Wright and continues on to today’s aerospace projects of the future now under development at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base.