AHS Names Hirschberg as Executive Director

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May 18, 2011

Vertical Flight Society
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AHS Names Hirschberg as Executive DirectorHirschberg

Alexandria, VA -- The American Helicopter Society International's Chairman of the Board, Philip J. Dunford, today announced the selection of Michael J. Hirschberg to be the AHS Executive Director, effective June 1, 2011. Hirschberg was selected unanimously over a field of highly qualified candidates.

Outgoing AHS Executive Director, M.E. Rhett Flater, served the Society for 20 years and has overseen tremendous growth in the Society, including greatly enhancing its technical focus, reorienting it to be more international, advocating for the vertical flight community, and being more inclusive of subsystems and integration companies. Hirschberg stated that "Rhett leaves huge shoes to fill. The entire vertical flight community is deeply in debt to his tireless efforts on its behalf over the past two decades."

Hirschberg has 20 years of aerospace experience, primarily in vertical flight. Most recently he was a principal aerospace engineer at CENTRA Technology, Inc., providing technical and program management consulting on advanced rotorcraft technology programs to the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) and the Office of Naval Research (ONR). He has a BS in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Virginia, an ME in Mechanical Engineering from the Catholic University of America, and is currently completing his MBA at Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University (Virginia Tech).

Hirschberg has been an active member of AHS for over 15 years and has been the managing editor of the Society's highly regarded Vertiflite magazine since 1999. He has served on several AHS committees and chaired three conferences. He is an internationally-known lecturer, frequently presenting on vertical flight at short courses, meetings, conferences, and universities. He is the author/co-author of nearly 100 papers/articles and three books.

Hirschberg says his vision for AHS is to be the global resource for information on vertical flight technology. "I see four strategic imperatives for AHS: to expand the membership, develop a robust online presence, return more value to the members, and be the leaders of advocacy for vertical flight technology."

Flater commented, "It has been a great honor to serve the Society for the past 20 years. I have every confidence in Mike's ability to lead the Society in its effort to advance vertical flight technology."

AHS International – The Vertical Flight Technical Society – has more than 6,600 members and is the world's leading technical, professional society dedicated to the advancement of vertical flight technology and its applications. The Society was society founded in 1943 and represents the interests of the worldwide vertical flight industry.

For further information on AHS, visit the Society's website at http://www.vtol.org or follow "American Helicopter Society (AHS) International" on Facebook. Photo available at http://www.vtol.org/director. A pdf of this press release is also available.

AHS International, 217 N. Washington St., Alexandria, VA 22314-2538; (703) 684-6777; Fax (703) 739-9279; Send email; Web Site: www.vtol.org