Mike Hirschberg assumed the duties of Executive Director of the Vertical Flight Society (then known as the American Helicopter Society, Inc.) on June 1, 2011, after 20 years in the aerospace industry, primarily in vertical flight. As the Executive Director, he is responsible for the execution of the strategic direction set by the Society's Board of Directors.
He represents the vertical flight technical community and advocates for the advancement of vertical flight research and technology to the executive and legislative branches of the government. Mr. Hirschberg is the publisher of all society publications, including Vertiflite, the Journal of the AHS, and the Annual Forum Proceedings.
Mr. Hirschberg was previously a principal aerospace engineer with CENTRA Technology, Inc., providing technical and program management support for over 10 years to the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) and Office of Naval Research (ONR) on advanced aircraft and rotorcraft concepts. Prior to this, Mr. Hirschberg worked from 1994 to 2001 in the Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) Program Office, supporting the development of the X-32 and X-35 vertical flight propulsion systems.
He served as the Managing Editor of Vertiflite magazine from 1999 to 2011, and had been a contributing author since 1997. Mr. Hirschberg is an internationally-known lecturer, frequently presenting on vertical flight at short courses, meetings, conferences and universities, and is the author/co-author of more than 100 publications on helicopter, V/STOL and advanced aircraft developments, including three books.
Mr. Hirschberg holds a B.S. in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Virginia (1991) and a M.E. Mechanical Engineering from Catholic University of America (1996). He completed a Master of Business Administration at the Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University (Virginia Tech) in 2013. He is proficient in speaking German.
He is an Associate Fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) and a Fellow of the Royal Aeronautical Society (RAeS).