AIAA Distinguished Lecturer: Charlie Vono

USU Alumni, Charlie Vono, returns to spend an hour telling us stories about his first assignment in the USAF, in-flight refueling SR-71s worldwide in the Strategic Air Command during the Cold War. Charlie will explain how KC-135 tankers were retro-fitted with high-tech to be able to support the fastest manned aircraft ever flown. Flying above 50,000 feet and above Mach 3, nothing could touch the SR-71. To set the stage, Charlie will discuss geopolitics of WWII and the post-war period. He can do this from a very personal point of view. His Dad, Mike Vono, was a B-24 ball turret gunner flying out of Italy up the Adriatic to bomb Germany. His Uncle, Charles Vono, was a gunner in every major naval battle in the Pacific. Charlie earned his B.S. in astronautical engineering from the USAF Academy in 1976, M.S. in Systems Management from the University of Southern California in 1985, and his M.S. in Mechanical Engineering from USU in 1995. Charlie is a retired USAF colonel, retired aerospace engineer, and an AIAA distinguished lecturer. Discover more at

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