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.


November 2018


November 3        1:00 pm         Ken Alford                       Retired USAF, C-119 & C-124

November 10      1:00 pm         Dan A. Isbell                    Retired USAF Pilot 

November 17     1:00 pm          Larry Chatland               Retired USAF, Air Force One

November 24     1:00 pm          No Speaker                     Thanksgiving Weekend


Additional information on each speaker:

Ken Alford

Ken Alford was born in Ogden, Utah on March 4, 1930. He joined the United States Air Force and served for 28 years active duty and reserve on the C-119 and C-124 aircraft. Throughout his career with the United States Air Force, Ken logged over 5,000 flying hours. Ken served three terms with the Utah State Legislature, two terms in Ogden City Council, and served as an original member on the board for the Hill Aerospace Museum under the direction of Major General Rex A. Hadley.

Dan A. Isbell

Dan A. “Tanna” Isbell has a Bachelor of Aerospace Engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology, and Master of Science Degrees from Troy University and the National Defense University. He also graduated top in his class at the USAF Test Pilot School earning both top pilot and top academic honors. He spent over 26 years active duty in the USAF as a fighter pilot, experimental test pilot, program manager, and scientific research department head. His flying career included flying more than 67 different types of aircraft, but Dan spent most of his flight test career flight testing all the various blocks/models of the F-16. Dan was a “Top Gun” and instructor fighter pilot, instructor experimental test pilot and he also taught at the USAF Test Pilot School. He was later the Director of F-16 Flight Test at the F-16 System Program Office. He was then Commander of the 514th Flight Test Squadron (FLTS). It was during his time as the 514th FLTS Commander that Colonel Isbell flew “Little Precious,” designated as the Squadron Commander’s F-16. He performed numerous Experimental Flight Test Missions in Little Precious before she was retired from active duty and reassigned to the Hill Aerospace Museum to be preserved and displayed for the public. He also served as a defense systems analyst at the Office of the Secretary of Defense, Pentagon, followed by becoming the Air Vehicle Program Manager for the F-22 development at the F-22 System Program Office. While serving at the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) as Chief, Weapon Systems Sector, Dan led all Kinetic Energy and Directed Energy (DE) advanced weapons development. While at AFRL, Dan was handpicked by the Secretary of the Air Force to lead a National Team to accelerate development of key technologies and capabilities to greatly enhance Special Operations warfighting capabilities in the War on Terror. Dan retired from active duty as a Colonel on April 30, 2004. Since retirement from active duty, Dan has been working as a Technology Integration Consultant for various Department of Defense contracts. In 2015, Dan was asked to join the team at Wintec, Inc. to become the Test Engineering Subject Matter Expert for the Miniature Air Launch Rawinsonde/Dropsonde (MALRD) program.

Larry Chatland

Larry Chantland was born in 1920 in Badger, Iowa. Larry worked as a farmer before he joined the United States Air Force on January 25, 1952. During his service, he worked around the world. He spent 5 years in France working on generators, where all three of his children were born. In 1962, after serving in France, he was stationed at Travis Air Force Base. Following Travis AFB, he moved to Andrews AFB where he was assigned to work on Air Force One. Larry was told that 99% of people who applied to work on Air Force One would not make it, but Larry was one of the lucky 1% that was selected. Following his work on Air Force One, Larry went to Vietnam and then moved to Hill Air Force Base where he retired as a TSgt in November 1972. Following his service in the Air Force, Larry worked for 20 years in civil service, retiring in May 1992.


Free Admission