My dad, aviation photographer Paul Bowen, has developed amazing relationships over the years. I recently accompanied him to the Kansas Aviation Museum gala honoring one of his dearest friends: Mort Brown, Aviation 2008 Hall of Fame Inductee. Mort turned 100 this year, which made this honor even more special. During Mort’s years as Cessna’s production-flight-test chief pilot, he released more than 85,000 new aircraft to owners. This man has stories.
Other highlights of the evening included Director Lon Smith sharing what the countless hours of volunteer time from the Wichita community have meant to the museum. Had the museum had to pay for those hours, the costs would be in the millions. Wichita loves its aircraft – and their preservation. It made me proud to see the museum’s new Greteman Group-created identity so prominently displayed throughout the evening and to know that it’s playing a role in the museum’s outreach and growth.
Dave Franson, friend and executive director of the recently launched Wichita Aero Club, kept busy spreading the word about the organization and its plans. Of course seeing Dave talk nonstop is nothing new. I say that with love.
Aviation reporter Molly McMillin was also sharing news. Her’s was about her new blog, the Air Capital Insider, which launched this week. Be sure to check it out.
Keynote speaker Eric Lindbergh, grandson of the first man to fly nonstop across the Atlantic, reminded us of how far we’ve come since 1927. Discussions with leaders from some of the industry’s leading aircraft manufacturers inspired us with new boundary-busting visions. The entire evening made me glad that I make the Air Capital my home.
Photo credit: Wichita Business Journal