Wichita Aero Club May 22 Luncheon Will Feature Avionics, Propulsion Experts

(Wichita, KS)  The Tuesday, May 22 Wichita Aero Club Luncheon will feature industry experts in avionics and propulsion discussing future developments in both areas. The  discussion will be moderated by AVIATION INTERNATIONAL NEWS (AIN) Senior Editor and technology expert Matt Thurber.  He'll be teamed with Phil Straub, Vice President and Managing Director of Garmin's Aviation product line and Ron Rich, a key member of the Honeywell’s development team on several propulsion programs as Vice President, Propulsion Systems, Marketing & Product Management and current head of the company’s Auxiliary Power Unit engineering efforts in Phoenix. "The technology on the flight deck and inside the nacelles of modern aircraft continues to evolve so quickly it's tough to keep up," said Dave Franson, Wichita Aero Club spokesman, " so we have invited some key figures in those fields to address the latest developments."   


Phil Straub was named vice president, managing director – aviation at Garmin in October of last year.  He leads all facets of Garmin’s aviation business, including product development, flight operations, certification, sales, marketing, and support.  He originally joined Garmin in 1993 after earning a BS degree in electrical engineering and was a key contributor and leader in the creation of the GNS 430/530 and G1000 integrated cockpit systems.  In addition to his engineering skills, Straub is an accomplished pilot and holds an airline transport pilot certificate for multi-engine, as well as a flight instructor certificate with single-engine, multi-engine and instrument privileges.


Ron Rich has spent his career at Honeywell in engineering, working primarily on propulsion systems including the TFE 731 and HTF7000 engines that power four different models of Cessna Citations, two Hawker Beechcraft jets and five different Bombardier aircraft among their impressive list of platforms.


Matt Thurber has been flying since 1975 and writing about aviation since 1978 and now reports on aviation for AIN and its sister publication Business Jet Traveller (BJT). In addition to working as an A&P mechanic on everything from Piper Cubs to turboprops, Matt taught flying at his father’s flight school in Plymouth, Massachusetts in the early 1980s, flew for an aircraft owner/pilot and for two summer seasons, hunting  swordfish near the George’s Banks off the East Coast from a Piper Supercub. Based in Southern California, Matt covers the West Coast aviation scene and writes about safety, manufacturing, technology and other subjects of interest to AIN and BJT readers.

“This will be an interesting and unique opportunity to hear what new developments are ahead in these two key business segments, from the people who are guiding those projects.  Having a veteran investigative reporter who’s an expert in his own right, guide the discussion will make it especially valuable and, of course, we’ll try to save some time for questions and answers from the audience, as well,” Franson stated.

The luncheon will be held, as usual, in the Grand Ballroom of the Doubletree Hotel by Hilton at Wichita Airport, beginning with a reception at 11:45 AM and lunch at noon.  Reservations can be made on-line at the Wichita Aero Club website or by calling 641-5962.  Members receive a 25% discount on their lunches.  Additional information, can be obtained by calling the Aero Club at 681-4491 or 681-4471.