Plane Talk



Plane Talk Lecture Series


The Hill Aerospace Museum hosts a plane talk series featuring speakers related to heritage of Hill Air Force Base, the United States Air Force, other military branches, and many other subjects related aerospace and the defense industry. Plane Talk began at the Hill Aerospace Museum more than twenty years ago. The speaker series has usually taken place at the Hill Aerospace Museum each Saturday during the fall and winter months. The series has featured hundreds of notable speakers including Senator Garn, former Viet Nam prisoner of war, Col. Jay Hess, Rear Admiral Jerry Taylor, Col. Robert H. Hinckley, former USAF SAC Commander, Gen. Russell Dougherty, former Hill AFB Commander, Gen.Marc Reynolds and many more.


Plane Talk begins at 1:00 pm in the Hill Aerospace Museum theater.


January 2019


January 5        1:00 pm         OC Hope             Retired USAF Fighter Pilot

January 12      1:00 pm         Kevin Ireland      Warriors Over the Wasatch

January 19      1:00 pm         Don Sellers         Gem 63 Program Manager

January 26      1:00 pm         Erik Gross           U.S. Marines Vietnam Veteran



Additional information on each speaker:

OC Hope

O.C. Hope is a retired United States Air Force fighter pilot who flew the F-4, F-105 and F-16. Following his military career, Hope was a Continental Airlines pilot, logging over 16,000 hours in Boeing 737 aircraft. Mr. Hope has also worked as a flight instructor for more than 14 years.

Hope will highlight the evolution of the fighter aircraft through the history of the United States Air Force.

Kevin Ireland

Kevin Ireland is a successful, award winning, and diverse executive with an abundance of experience leading organizations for multimillion-dollar companies across diverse industries for over 30 years. His extensive firsthand knowledge of raising large charitable contributions for community programs and projects has continued over a 25-year period, including the Warriors Over the Wasatch Air and Space Show.

Kevin’s community support and involvement has proven to be a huge asset for Hill Air Force Base and specifically The Warriors Over the Wasatch Air and Space Show. Most recently, he has taken his passion and expertise to other Air Force base locations to assist them with their local air shows.

Ireland has been and continues to be involved with many local community boards and support groups for the local military in Utah. He is the recipient of several community awards but most importantly the Hill AFB Wingman Award for his on-going support to the Base, its community, and the Air Show. Kevin is a member of the Aerospace Heritage Foundation of Utah Board of Directors at the Hill Aerospace Museum.

Don Sellers 

Don Sellers served in the United States Marine Corps from 1964 to 1968. Sellers retired from the U.S Marines at the rank of Sergeant (E-5).

Don will discuss the battle of Cam Lo – Tet Offensive that took place in 1968. During “The Miracle of Cam Lo,” Sergeant Sellers and his platoon of 44 Marines held and defeated 900 NVA forces of the 320th NVA Regiment for more than 6 hours.

Erik Gross

Erik Gross is the senior program manager on the GEM 63 production program. The GEM 63 program is currently developing and producing strap-on rocket motors for United Launch Alliance’s Atlas V and Vulcan launch vehicles as well as Northrop Grumman’s OmegA launch vehicle.

Gross has 20 years of experience in the propulsion and space industry. He started his career in engineering at Thiokol Corporation analyzing the loads and vibrations of the space shuttle reusable solid rocket motors. Erik has held a variety of positions with increasing responsibility and leadership in engineering, business development, operations and program management.

A native of Florida, Erik holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in mechanical engineering from the University of Texas at El Paso and a master’s degree in business administration from Utah State University.


Free Admission