Attendees at the Tuesday, Oct. 28 AV Board of Trade Business
Briefing luncheon will learn about plans to move the Edwards Air Force Base
Flight Test Museum to a new location outside the base’s Rosamond Boulevard
gate, making the museum’s historical treasures accessible to hundreds of
thousands of visitors each year.
A lineup of four presenters representing Edwards and the Flight Test
Historical Foundation are scheduled to provide information on the progress
of the move necessitated by base security enhancements since 9/11.
On the program for the 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. luncheon meeting at the
Hellenic Center in Lancaster are: Allen M. “Al” Hoffman, first vice-chairman
of the Flight Test Historical Foundation; David G. “Jester” Smith, Ph.D,
FTHF board member and support director for EAFB; George Welsh,
Director/Curator for the Air Force Flight Test Museum; and Rex Moen,
chairman of the Capital Campaign Committee and FTHF board member.
Luncheon tickets are $20 per person with reservation made by Monday,
Oct. 27, or $25 at the door. Call the AV Board of Trade office at (661)
947-9033 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for reservations. The Flight Test
Historical Foundation is sponsoring the monthly Business Briefing.
Al Hoffman, First Vice-Chairman of the Flight Test Historical
Foundation and a director since 2003, is the Boeing Company’s Site Manager,
Edwards AFB and NASA Neil Armstrong Flight Research Center. Al majored in US
History at Miami University (Ohio) and is a US Navy veteran. He is the
single face of Boeing in the Antelope Valley to Air Force, NASA, and other
U.S. Government leadership for programs and projects onboard the
Over more than 35 years in the aerospace industry he worked on the
B-1B bomber, SSME (Space Shuttle Main Engine) Space Shuttle Orbiters,
International Space Station (ISS) manufacturing, and the X-37. He supports
Boeing’s Government Relations team in California and did a two-year
assignment in their Washington, DC Operations office.
Al is 2014-15 President of the Antelope Valley Board of Trade, and a
director of the Edwards AFB Civilian Military Support Group and The
Aerospace Office (City of Lancaster). He is a member of the Los Angeles
County Air Show and a former director for the California Space Authority. He
is a member of the American Institute of Aeronautics & Astronautics (AIAA),
the Air Force Association (AFA), the US Naval Institute (USNI), and is an
Alumni of the National Security Forum at the Air War College.
David G. “Jester” Smith, a director of the Flight Test Historical
Foundation, is the Installation Support Director for Edwards AFB. Retired
from the U.S. Air Force, Colonel Smith presently serves as Commander of
163rd Reconnaissance Wing Support Unit for the California Air National Guard
Reserve at March Air Reserve Base. Dave and his wife Denise have six
children and four grandchildren.
He was commissioned through Officers Training School. He was a
Master Navigator and Instructor Navigator on B-52’s with over 3,000 hours
and is a private pilot. Jester completed the Squadron Officers School, the
Air Command and Staff College and the Air War College at Maxwell AFB,
Alabama. He earned his B.A. Degree in General Studies/Chemistry from
Chaminade University of Hawaii. He holds a Masters of Aeronautical Science
from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, and a Doctor of Business
Administration specializing in Aviation from Northcentral University. Dr.
Smith also attended the National Test Pilot School in Mojave. He is the
Immediate Past President of the William J. “Pete” Knight Chapter of the Air
Force Association. David is a Life Patron of the Flight Test Historical
George Welsh is the Director/Curator for the Air Force Flight Test
Museum at Edwards AFB, and a Life Patron of the Flight Test Historical
Foundation. A native of San Diego, George came to the Air Force Flight Test
Museum in 2011 from the Flying Leatherneck Aviation Museum on MCAS Miramar,
where he had worked as an aviation archivist and historian since 2009.
Prior to his ‘hitch’ with the Marines, George, and his wife Michelle
published an aviation history magazine titled “Bomber Legends”, dedicated to
the memories of all bomber aircraft veterans from World War II, but in
particular the Consolidated B-24 Liberator. “Bomber Legends,” and its
previous title “Briefing”, had been in continuous publication since 1968.
George is an Air Force veteran and served as an avionics specialist
in both U.S. Air Forces Europe and Strategic Air Command. Following his Air
Force enlistment, he began volunteering at the San Diego Aerospace Museum
while attending college. He was soon asked to join the staff and remained
there for the next 15 years working in archival, curatorial, educational and
aircraft restoration projects. George was also an Aerospace Instructor with
the San Diego Community College District (Mesa College) teaching courses in
Aerospace Studies and worked for several years in the aerospace industry.
George and Michelle have one son and reside in Tehachapi.
Rex Moen, Chairman of the Capital Campaign Committee for moving and
expanding the United States Air Force Flight Test Museum to outside the
gate, has been on the Board of Directors of the Flight Test Historical
Foundation since 1999. He is a retired District Director for the late State
Senator William J. “Pete” Knight.
Rex retired from the U.S. Army with the rank of Lieutenant Colonel
and pursued a management career with Southern California Edison Company
before entering legislative service. Rex and his wife Janine have 12
children, 29 grandchildren, and 7 great grandchildren.
Rex has been a Private Pilot since 1959. He has an A.A. Degree from
Barstow College; a B.S. Degree in Business Administration from California
State University, Northridge; and Certificate In Business Management from
UCLA. He is the Immediate Past California State President of the Air Force
Association (AFA), the Vice-President for AFA Community Partners for the
William J. “Pete” Knight Chapter and President of the East Kern County
Integrated Technology Alliance.
He is a life member of the Air Force Association, Navy League of the
United States, Association of the United States Army, National Guard
Association of California and the Military Officers Association of America.
He is an Alumnus of the National Security Forum at the Air War College. Rex
is a Life Patron of the Flight Test Historical Foundation.
About the Flight Test Historical Foundation
The Flight Test Historical Foundation, sponsor of the AV Board of
Trade’s October Business Briefing luncheon, is a 501(c)3 organization whose
mission is to raise funds to support development of the Air Force Flight
Test (AFFT) Museum at Edwards AFB and the museum’s Blackbird Airpark Annex
at Air Force Plant 42 in Palmdale.
The Foundation’s fund-raising efforts focus primarily on museum
improvements, new construction, exhibits, aircraft acquisition and
restoration, and educational programs. The FTHF funded construction of a
12,000 square foot museum at Edwards, which is no longer accessible to the
public since 9/11.
The FTHF is raising additional funds to move the main museum outside
the West Gate, to make it accessible to the general public. The current
Flight Test Museum facility includes 8,500 square feet of exhibits, a
40-seat theater, research library, gift shop, and administrative offices.
Exhibits inside the museum cover such diverse subjects as the
formation of the ancient lakebeds, early homesteading in the area, the first
military use of Edwards, flight testing during WW II, breaking the sound
barrier, high-speed flight, and the story of Glen Edwards, the base’s
Other exhibits include aircraft, flight hardware, rocket engine, and
model displays. Museum visitors can learn about the past, present, and
future of flight testing in the museum’s theater and souvenirs can be
purchased in the well-stocked gift shop.
There are currently over 80 aircraft in the AFFT museum’s
collection, with 41 on display, including 36 at Edwards and five among the
larger collection at Blackbird Airpark on Rancho Vista Boulevard in
Palmdale. Remaining aircraft in the collection are in storage or
Other artifacts in the collection include aircraft propulsion
systems, missiles, hardware, life support equipment, technical drawings,
test reports, personal memorabilia, photographs, and wind tunnel models.