Frank Hansen is the Owner and Co-Founder of American Aerospace Inc. Additionally, he is the Chairman and CEO of HE, Inc., an economic development Holding Company offering global services, technologies, and systems that support key industrial, commercial and military programs. Emphasis are in industries of energy, aerospace, manufacturing, infrastructure, and economic development.
Frank is a 35+ year aviation professional residing in Texas. He held senior positions with some of the largest Defense Contractors providing leadership in engineering, conducting modification and maintenance on fixed and rotor wing category aircraft. Additionally, he provided international and domestic strategy for the development of the aviation sector. Special emphasis on business development in aerospace and infrastructure support.
He has held senior executive positions in aircraft operational organizations that included research, development, and manufacturing.
Mr. Hansen retired from the United States Air Force and the Defense Logistics Agency. He received numerous decorations and was selected as the Manager of the Year in 1996. Mr. Hansen has acquired his Level II Acquisition Certification from the Department of Defense. He is a member of the American Society for Quality and Automotive Engineering Society. Mr. Hansen is a graduate of Embry Riddle Aeronautical University where he earned a BS in Aeronautical Engineering with special emphasis in Business Management, with additional studies in RF Technologies from DeVry Institute of Technology. He holds an FAA Air Frame & Powerplant License and was qualified as an FAA Manufacturing Inspection Representative and Certification Administrator.
Richard Bertagna was the Co-Founder and CEO of American Aerospace Inc. Coming from Transdigital Communications Corporation, a company he founded following his early retirement as Chairman of the Hughes-Avicom, a subsidiary of the Hughes Aircraft Company in 1994.
Mr. Bertagna has been in the airline Entertainment and Communications business for over 40 years, starting as the resident technical representative for Bell & Howell at American Airlines where he installed the first 16mm film system on an American Airlines fleet of 84 707 aircraft. Mr. Bertagna installed the industry’s first entertainment system on Boeing’s launch 747 aircraft, developed the industry’s first color view monitor system which was installed on American Airlines DC 10 aircraft, and negotiated the contracts with the major film distributors to allow the use of ¾” video cassettes on commercial aircraft. Following his many achievements in completing the installation of Americans 707 aircraft, he was given the task of setting up Bell & Howell’s field service organization.
He advanced within the Bell & Howell organization becoming the VP of Marketing and Operations for the company. In 1979, he elected to leave Bell & Howell to form a company called AUDIO IN MOTION (AIM). Based on the financial success of products he designed and patented at AIM he made a successful offer to acquire the division of Bell & Howell.
He merged the two companies together in 1983 forming Avicom-International. Avicom-International continued its growth reporting 10 million dollars in sales in the first year of operation with after tax earnings of just over 1 million dollars.
Avicom-International was sold to Lockheed, where Mr. Bertagna would continue to serve as its President and CEO. The company was successful in winning the British Airways, Lufthansa and KLM 747-400 orders. This was followed by being awarded the KLM’s DC-10 fleet and British Airways 767 fleet.
In 1990, Hughes purchased Avicom. Mr. Bertagna continued to operate as its President and CEO. The company continued to develop new technology with a patent being issued to Mr. Bertagna for the industry’s first interactive communication system.
The company was consolidated with the Hughes Micro Elections Division and renamed Hughes-Avicom. Mr. Bertagna was named President and CEO of Hughes-Avicom. In that capacity he successfully increased the annual sales of the company to over $120M.
Mr. Bertagna, he formed Transdigital Communications Corporation (TCC), a company focused on the design of a digital interactive system for ships. Following the successful installation of TCC’s digital trial system on the Sun Princess. An award was offered for 12 Princess Ships however TCC Board of Directors voted against the contract.
Mr. Bertagna decided to enter into the commercial airline market knowing that the large suppliers were concentrating on the new Boeing 777 aircraft leaving the narrow body market open to TCC. With this knowledge he designed digital media servers, which replaced the costly unreliable cassette players. It was on the strength of these digital servers that TCC was able to capture orders form Northwest, American, Continental, Monarch and SAS.
Technology Awards: Sixteen US and International Patents currently has two more in work.
Co-winner of The World Airline Entertainment Association’s First Life Time Achievement Award in 1996.
Developed the industry’s first digital media servers using hard disk drives as the compressed content storage device. Over 3000 aircraft now use these American Aerospace products.
Don Dodson is the President of American Aerospace Inc.
Don has worked in the aviation and professional community for 35+ years. He recently held the position of Chief Operating Officer of Propeller Advisors providing expert analysis, experienced guidance and advice for clients dealing with complex aviation and transportation issues. Special emphasis on acquisition and disposition of aircraft, engineering, fleet planning, finance, procurement, sales and marketing, supply chain management, as well as an in-depth understanding of the regulatory environment surrounding the FAA, ICAO, EASA.
Previous employment includes Senior Vice President and Director of Operations for EOS Airlines, an international airline offering executive class service between the US and Europe. EOS focused on customer satisfaction and was awarded “Best Business Travel Airline” and ranked #1 in on-time arrivals.
Some of his additional experiences include CEO/President of Trans Meridian Airlines, with $65 million in revenue operating from the US throughout the Caribbean, Mexico, Central and South America. Don was Founder/CEO of Dodson International Air, an executive charter airline specializing in corporate travel and “Just-in-Time” inventory delivery. He served as President of Dixie Jet Service, a Fixed Base Operator providing support services to general aviation aircraft. Don has also served as an airline Captain and/or Director of Operations for several airlines including Eastern Airlines, United Airlines and Eos Airlines. Don’s operational experience encompasses every continent except Antarctica.
Don has a wealth of leadership experience in the aviation and professional community. He takes a hands-on approach and his leadership is based on honesty, commitment, and a true caring for those whom he leads. His qualities as a leader are demonstrated by his ability to build and guide his team to successfully meet the unique challenges of today’s society. He understands that success comes from the strength of the team as a whole. He has the ability to identify and build a strong cohesive team that understands the mission and works as one unit to accomplish the goal. Don believes that no matter what the identifiable goal may be, the ultimate end should be to make the world a better place for mankind. This understanding of a greater purpose motivates and inspires each individual member of the team to excel.
Mr. Dodson retired from the airlines after serving more than 30 years as a line pilot and in several executive positions. During his years in aviation, Don developed the skills required to work in a technically complex and ever-changing environment. This experience with both technically advanced systems and the labor force required to support an airline operation have served him well in the business community. Don holds an FAA Airline Transport Pilot certificate and is type rated in a variety of aircraft including the Boeing B-747 and B-777. He majored in Mechanical Engineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology. Upon graduating #1 in his class from the Georgia Military Institute, Mr. Dodson was commissioned a Second Lieutenant in the United States Army. Don holds several FAA authorizations including Check Captain, Flight Instructor, Ground School Instructor, and Line Check Airman. His current membership affiliations include the Georgia Tech Letterman’s Club, First United Methodist Church, and Retired Pilots Association.