The Isham name is rich
started as a family
owned business that grew from a rich aviation heritage.
Currently Isham Inc. provides aircraft modifications, aircraft
tools and other services to airlines, manufacturers, aircraft
owners and the experimental homebuilt aircraft market.
The surname Isham has
its origin in 11th century England. “Is” is for
the River Ise in Northamptonshire Central England and “Ham”
means a small village. The name “Isham” means “from a small
village on the River Ise.”
(1924-1999) learned to fly in 1940 in
As a Cadet in 1942 he left Wichita University for the
8th Army Air
Force. As a navigator on
Keith flew many missions based in England. In the early 1950’s
Keith owned an
and continued to fly other civilian aircraft at every
opportunity. After the war Keith continued in service in the
Kansas Army National Guard until retiring as a Warrant Office in
the mid-1990’s. He was Vice President of 4th National
Bank (now Bank of America) in Wichita, Kansas. During his post
war military aviation career Keith flew the
Cessna L19 Birddog,
Sikorsky Sky Crane,
OH-58 Bell Jet Ranger,
After retiring from the KANG and Bank IV Keith continued flying
for LifeWatch in Wichita, KS. He flew the LifeWatch
Super King Air until the mid-1990’s. As of mid 1998
Keith was no longer active in the company.
riding in airplanes with his dad as an infant. Growing up
around aviation set his destiny. In his early career he worked
as an aircraft mechanic in Topeka, KS and Wichita, KS. While in
Topeka he helped a friend rebuild an
He flew many hours building time in the Emigh. In 1972 he
married Glenna, his life-long aviation companion. Glenna worked
for EdoAire building aircraft instruments in the early to
In the mid-1970’s
Keith and the family decided to purchase a
Piper Cherokee 180.
The airplane sat neglected for several years. They spent all of
their spare time bringing the Cherokee up to date, including the
addition of wing extensions, wingtips, stabilator extension and a
new dorsal fin. Working through the FAA they received STC
approval, then PMA (parts manufacturing approval) and began
selling the update modifications to other Piper Cherokee owners.
The business grew, adding new STC’s for the Piper
and an engine conversion for the
With their background in manufacturing processes and tools they
decided it was a natural fit to add
to the product line.
Glenna managed the day
to day operation of the business from the mid-1970’s until 2005
when she became President of the corporation. All of their
children worked in the business and developed a
love for aviation. As adults the boys worked as sheet
metal assembly mechanics for Boeing where they became experts at
new state-of-the art aircraft manufacturing processes. Their
a Six Sigma Green Belt,
worked in manufacturing inventory for Boeing Commercial for
several years, then at Cessna as a tool and parts buyer. Isham's have seven grandchildren that already are showing
enthusiasm for aviation from flying remote control models to
spending time at the “shop”.
The Isham family has
accomplished many aviation projects including installation of many
of their STC modifications on Piper and Cessna airplanes and enjoy
working on an RV-8A, N220LS “In to Tools” and a new RV-12
project. The Isham’s
have owned seven airplanes since the mid-1970’s.
The strong aviation
connections and skills of the Isham’s have made Isham Inc. a
significant supplier in the aviation industry.