Building an Aviation Dream
The life of Stanley Hiller Jr and building the Hiller Aviation Museum
June 5 at 11 AM
Event included with Museum admission.
Stanley Hiller Jr. was a man born ahead of his time. He possessed two important traits that helped lead him to success: visionary engineering insight, and brilliant business sense.
Flying was in Stanley’s blood. His father, Stanley Sr., was a pioneering aviator flying aircraft of his own construction in the early years of flight. Stanley Jr. had his first company at 14 years of age and set out to design and build his first helicopter at age 17. The company he founded went on to build over 2,000 helicopters and employ over 3,000 people. After his aircraft career he became a successful Silicon Valley venture capitalist before anyone knew either Silicon Valley or venture capital by those names, investing in and turning around over 30 companies, all while keeping his hand in aviation sitting on the Board of Directors of the Boeing Aircraft Company and several futuristic aircraft startups.
Stan Hiller did not originally set out to build a museum, but even after leaving aerospace he saved and preserved many of his old helicopter prototypes, and collected many other unique aircraft. He had a private museum warehouse in Redwood City that he established in the 1980s to house his growing collection. For years he looked for the right place to open a museum for the public, ultimately finding it at the San Carlos Airport. The Hiller Aviation Museum opened its doors to the public for the first time on June 5, 1998.
As part of the museum’s 20th anniversary celebration, Willie Turner, VP of Communications and Operations will give a presentation on Stanley Hiller Jr. and the early days of the museum. Willie has been with the museum since its formative years and he has witnessed firsthand its ongoing evolution into the world class museum and education center that it is today.