1952 Igor I Sikorsky (1889 –1972)
The Russian American aviation pioneer in both helicopters and fixed-wing aircraft. He designed and flew the world's first multi-engine fixed-wing aircraft, the Russky Vityaz in 1913, and the first airliner, Ilya Muromets, in 1914. In 1919 Sikorsky founded the Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation in 1923, and developed the first of Pan American Airways' ocean-conquering flying boats in the 1930s. In 1939 Sikorsky designed and flew the Vought-Sikorsky VS-300, the first viable American helicopter. Sikorsky modified the design into the Sikorsky R-4, which became the world's first mass-produced helicopter in 1942.
1953 Jerome C. Hunsaker (1886 – 1984)
He designed the first modern airship built in the United States as well as the C and D class Navy airships, and with Westervelt and Richardson, also designed the Curtiss NC flying boats.
1954 Benjamin F. Green, Jr. (1914 –1998) an American Air Force major general who was commander of Lackland Military Training Center, Air Training Command, and Lackland Air Force Base, San Antonio, Texas. In the dual capacity he was responsible for the operation of one of the largest installations in the Air Force as well as for the direction of a wide range of training functions at the base.
1956 Admiral Richard E. Byrd (1888-1957)
was an American naval officer who specialized in feats of exploration. He was a pioneering American aviator, polar explorer, and organizer of polar logistics. Aircraft flights, in which he served as a navigator and expedition leader, crossed the Atlantic Ocean, a segment of the Arctic Ocean, and a segment of the Antarctic Plateau. Byrd claimed that his expeditions had been the first to reach the North Pole and the South Pole by air.
1957 Professor Otto C Koppen (1901 – 1991) American aircraft engineer. Professor Emeritus of aeronautical engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. In 1929, Koppen returned to teach stability and control at MIT, where he remained until his retirement in 1965. As part of the course, Koppen took students up in a Fairchild 24 to demonstrate stability principles. In 1936, Koppen published a paper called "Smart Airplanes for Dumb Pilots."
1958 General Curtis E. LeMay (1906 –1990)
Curtis LeMay is credited with designing and implementing an effective, but also controversial, systematic strategic bombing campaign in the Pacific theater of World War II. During the war, he was known for planning and executing a massive bombing campaign against cities in Japan and a crippling mine laying campaign in Japan's internal waterways. After the war, he initiated the Berlin airlift, then reorganized the Strategic Air Command (SAC) . He served as Chief of Staff of the U.S. Air Force from 1961 until his retirement in 1965.
1959 Dr. Charles Stark Draper (1901 – 1987)
An American scientist and engineer, known as the "father of inertial navigation". Draper was the founder and director of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Instrumentation Laboratory, later renamed the Charles Stark Draper Laboratory, which made the Apollo moon landings possible through the Apollo Guidance Computer it designed for NASA.
1960 Max Conrad (1903-1979 )
Known as the "Flying Grandfather", was a record-setting aviator. In the 1950s and 1960s, he set nine official light plane world records. For his efforts, he was awarded the Louis Blériot medal in 1952 and the Harmon Trophy in 1964. Winona Municipal Airport, also known as Max Conrad Field, in Winona County, Minnesota is named in his honor.
1961 A. Scott Crossfield (1921 – 2006)
An American naval officer and test pilot. 1960 piloted the first flight of the X-15. In 1953, he became the first pilot to fly at twice the speed of sound. He flew nearly all of the experimental aircraft under test at Edwards, including the X-1, XF-92, X-4, X-5, Douglas D-558-I Skystreak and the Douglas D-558-II Skyrocket. He remained at North American as systems director of test and quality assurance in the company's Space and Information Systems Division where he oversaw quality, reliability engineering and systems test activities for such programs as the Apollo command and service modules and the Saturn II booster.
1962 Commander Alan B. Shepard Jr. (1923 – 1998),
(RADM, USN), was an American naval officer and aviator, test pilot, flag officer, one of the original NASA Mercury Seven astronauts. In 1961 became the second person and the first American to travel into space. This Mercury flight was designed to enter space, but not to achieve orbit. Ten years later, at age 47 and the oldest astronaut in the program, Shepard commanded the Apollo 14 mission, piloting the lander to the most accurate landing of the Apollo missions. He became the fifth and oldest person to walk on the Moon, and the only astronaut of the Mercury Seven to walk on the Moon.
1963 Najeeb Halaby ( 1915 -2003
) From 1961 to 1965, he served as the second Administrator of the Federal Aviation Agency, appointed by President John F. Kennedy. Halaby was a proponent for the creation of the U.S. Department of Transportation, which occurred during his time in the Lyndon B. Johnson administration. From 1969 to 1972. He served as CEO, and chairman after of Pan Am. As Pan Am chairman, he was present at the christening of the first Boeing 747 aircraft.
1964 Gerhard Neumann (1917 – 1997)
was a German-American aviation engineer and executive for General Electric's aircraft engine division (which today is called GE Aviation). A test engineer for the General Electric Aircraft Gas Turbine Division, located in Lynn, Massachusetts. There he drove many innovations in jet engine design, most famously the "variable stator" that fine-tunes air compression at the inlet. His J79 jet engine enabled aircraft such as the F-104 to reach air speeds of Mach 2.
1965 Dr. Robert C. Seamans, Jr. (1918 – 2008)
was a NASA Deputy Administrator and MIT professor. In 1969 he became Secretary of the United States Air Force, serving until 1973. In 1965, he became Deputy Administrator of NASA also serving as Acting Administrator. Dr. Seamans was also president of the National Academy of Engineering from May 1973 to December 1974, when he became the first administrator of the new Energy Research and Development Administration. He returned to MIT in 1977, becoming dean of its School of Engineering in 1978.
1967 H.M. Jack Horner (1904-1983)
1966 Dr. Robert M. White (1923 - 2015)
Dr. White was chief of the U.S. Weather Bureau. January of 1964 he became the first Federal Coordinator for Meteorology. Dr. White was the first and only Administrator of the Environmental Sciences Services Administration (ESSA) from 1965 to 1970, and served as the founding Administrator of NOAA from 1970 to 1977.
While in charge of United Aircraft the company moved to the forefront of technology with jet propulsion and space flight hardware. He was responsible for America's global supremacy in flight propulsion and for our successful transition from the piston to the jet era of aircraft power plants.
1968 Cyrus R. Smith (1899 –1990)
known throughout his life as C. R. Smith. Smith was the CEO of American Airlines from 1934 to 1968 and from 1973 to 1974. He was also the wartime deputy commander of the Air Transport Command, and United States Secretary of Commerce.
1969 Commander Walter M. Schirra, Jr. (1923-2007)
was an American naval officer and aviator, aeronautical engineer, and test pilot. one of the original seven astronauts chosen for "Project Mercury", America's first effort to put humans in space. He flew the six-orbit, nine-hour Mercury-Atlas 8 mission on October 3, 1962, becoming the fifth American, and the ninth human, to ride a rocket into space. In the two-man Gemini program, he achieved the first space rendezvous in December 1965. In October 1968, he commanded Apollo 7, an 11-day low Earth orbit shakedown test of the three-man Apollo Command/Service Module.
1970 Apollo XII Crew Commander Alan L. Bean.
Apollo 12 was the sixth manned flight in the United States Apollo program and the second to land on the Moon . It was launched on November 14, 1969 from the Kennedy Space Center, Florida, four months after Apollo 11. Mission commander Charles "Pete" Conrad and Lunar Module Pilot Alan L. Bean performed just over one day and seven hours of lunar surface activity while Command Module Pilot Richard F. Gordon remained in lunar orbit.
1971 Dr. Ross A McFarland (1849-1980)
is regarded the "Father of Human Factors" in aviation. Author of the "Classic Human Factors in Air Transport Design", several other books and hundreds of articles, he was also a consultant to many federal agencies and corporations.
1972 Dr. Raymond L. Bisplinghoff (1917-1985)
authored many research papers and established himself as a preeminent expert in the fields of aircraft structures and structural dynamics.
1973 Secor D. Browne (1917-1986)
chairman of the Civil Aeronautics Board from 1969 to 1973 and an unflagging critic of the 1978 legislation deregulating the airlines. Mr. Browne was named by President Nixon to take over the C.A.B., the agency responsible for economic regulation of the industry, in the midst of a severe airline recession. His agency was widely credited with key contributions to the improvement of commercial aviation.
1974 Senator Barry Goldwater (1909 – 1998 )
oversaw the building of an advanced flying school at Yuma, Arizona. As its director of gunnery, he helped to develop the vastly superior “curve of pursuit” training method, which revolutionized gunnery results and which the Army Air Forces adopted.. Goldwater volunteered to participate in the first and only attempt to ferry fighter planes to Europe. Taking off from New York in P-47 Thunderbolts equipped with extra fuel tanks, he and nine other pilots flew to Scotland. It was an epic adventure for which Goldwater received the coveted Air Medal.
1975 General James H. Doolittle (1896 – 1993)
Doolittle was one of the most famous pilots during the inter-war period. In September 1922, he made the first of many pioneering flights, flying a de Havilland DH-4 – which was equipped with early navigational instruments. Doolittle's most important contribution to aeronautical technology was the development of instrument flying. He was the first to recognize that true operational freedom in the air could not be achieved unless pilots developed the ability to control and navigate aircraft in flight, from takeoff run to landing rollout, regardless of the range of vision from the cockpit. Doolittle was also the first to recognize these psycho-physiological limitations of the human senses (particularly the motion sense inputs, i.e., up, down, left, right). He initiated the study of the subtle interrelationships between the psychological effects of visual cues and motion senses. His research resulted in programs that trained pilots to read and understand navigational instruments. He won the three big air racing trophies of the time, the Schneider, Bendix, and Thompson. He led the first retaliatory air raid on the Japanese homeland. Occuring on April 18, Leading B25 bombers successfully took off from the Hornet, reached Japan, and bombed their targets. Doolittle received the Medal of Honor from President Franklin D. Roosevelt.
1976 Crocker Snow (1905-1999)
received Massachusetts pilot license No. 5 in February 1927. He had flown more than 15,000 hours in 140 types of planes, helped inaugurate commercial air travel in New England, oversaw civil aviation in Massachusetts and served as head of a Federal advisory panel on air traffic. As an officer in the Army Air Forces in World War II, he directed the ferrying of aircraft from the United States to Britain. He flew more than 20 bombing missions in the Pacific.
1977 John T. Griffin, Sr. (1902-1999)
"A true pioneer of civil aviation in Massachusetts" who blazed new commercial airline routes across the North Atlantic and founded the East Coast Aero Technical School. He was chief pilot Northeast Airlines. Mr. Griffin was also a pilot of the Massachusetts National Guard. During World War II, in addition to training pilots and mechanics for the Army at East Coast Airways, Mr. Griffin became a pilot for the Army Air Transport Command. As the Army attempted to establish reliable year-round airplane service across the North Atlantic, Mr. Griffin pioneered several transoceanic routes still used today.
1978 Frank Borman (1928-present)
Astronaut setting an endurance record in Gemini 7 also the first rendezvous of spacecraft in orbit. Commander of Apollo 8 the first manned spacecraft to leave the earth's gravity and journey to the moon making ten orbits of the moon. President and CEO of Eastern Airlines.
1979 Charles L. "Chip" Collins (1920-2014)
Rated in over 50 different aircraft. Served as a fighter pilot in WWII and instructor in B-17 and B-29s. "Chip" served as a test pilot testing captured enemy aircraft, and also served as a test pilot for MIT Draper labs. During this time he worked with Dr. Draper developing the "inertial guidance system" for aircraft and also used in the Apollo moon landings. In addition, he helped develop "Fly by wire" and piloted the first coast to coast flight using inertial guidance in a C97 Stratocruiser. His military honors include the Distinguished Flying Cross, the Air Medal with four oak leaf clusters, the Meritorious Service Medal.
1980 Louise Sacchi (1913 –1997)
was an aviator and author who flew numerous times across the world's oceans, often solo. Ferrying single and multi-engine planes as the first international woman ferry pilot. She set a speed record by flying a single-engine land plane from New York to London in 17 hours and 10 minutes. She won numerous awards in her career, which spanned over 40 years, and was the first woman to win the prestigious Godfrey L. Cabot Award for distinguished service to aviation.
1981 Russel Boardman / John Polando 1931
Flight from Cape Cod to Istanbul. Preparation (taking 2 years) for the record-breaking two-day flight from the New World (Cape Cod) to the new Republic of Turkey (Istanbul) . In an era decades before the Digital Age, this 5011.8 mile long flight was made without the aid of CAD, SITA, fax machine, Internet, GPS or the radio. The pilots flew with a large meteorological map and the dead reckoning.
1982 John Young / Robert Crippen
STS-1 was the first orbital flight of NASA's Space Shuttle program. The first orbiter, Columbia, launched on 12 April 1981 and returned on 14 April, 54.5 hours later, having orbited the Earth 37 times. Columbia carried a crew of two – mission commander John W. Young and pilot Robert L. Crippen.
1983 Paul H. Poberezny (1921 – 2013)
was an American aviator and aircraft designer. He founded the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) in 1953, and spent the greater part of his life promoting homebuilt aircraft. Through his efforts the world's largest annual fly-in event, EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh Wisconsin was born. Poberezny flew over 500 aircraft types, including over 170 home-built planes throughout his life.
1984 General Charles E. "Chuck" Yeager (1923 - present)
a WWII P-51 fighter pilot. In all, he flew 64 combat missions in World War II. On one occasion he shot down a German jet from his P-51. By war's end he had downed 13 enemy aircraft, five in a single day. After the war, Yeager became a test pilot of many types of aircraft, including experimental rocket-powered aircraft. As the first human to break the sound barrier, on October 14, 1947, he flew the experimental Bell X-1 at Mach 1 at an altitude of 45,000 ft (13,700 m).
1985 Col. Joe W. Kittinger, Jr. (1928-present)
is a retired Colonel in the United States Air Force and a USAF Command Pilot. Following his initial operational assignment in fighter aircraft, he participated in Project Manhigh and Project Excelsior in 1960, setting a world record for the longest skydive from a height greater than 31 kilometers (19 mi). In addition, he was the first man to make a solo crossing of the Atlantic Ocean in a gas balloon.
1986 Robert A. Hoover (1922-present)
is a former air show pilot and United States Air Force test pilot. Test/demonstration pilot with North American Aviation where he went on to Korea teaching the pilots in Korean war how to dive-bomb with the F-86 Sabre,. Hoover proposed the idea of promoting the North American name by demonstrating one of North American's most famous products, the P-51 Mustang.
1987 The "Voyager Team"
Burt Rutan, Dick Rutan, Jeana Yeager The first aircraft to fly around the world without stopping or refueling. The Voyager was piloted by Dick Rutan and Jeana Yeager. The flight took off from Edwards Air Force Base's 15,000 foot (4,600 m) long runway in the Mojave Desert on December 14, 1986, and ended 9 days, 3 minutes and 44 seconds later on December 23, setting a flight endurance record.
1988 Edna Gardner Whyte (1902-1992)
With over 35,000 flying hours, 125 air race trophies, and membership in four halls of fame. She received her pilot license in 1928 then rose to instructor and taught over 5000 World War II military pilots and airline pilots. She was a past President of 99's International.
1989 Alan E. Paulson (1922 –2000)
In 1978 he bought the Grumman American plants and offices from Grumman forming the Gulfstream American Corporation. In 1982, he bought Rockwell International's aviation division in Oklahoma and combined it with Gulfstream American to form Gulfstream Aerospace. Paulson transformed the company into the world's largest manufacturer of private jets.
1990 Leroy P. LoPresti/M. Stuart Millar
formed LoPresti Speed Merchants. Speed modifiers of many small aircraft. LoPresti worked with Millar (president of Piper Aircraft) to design the SwiftFury and the SwiftFire for Piper Aircraft.
1991 John L. Baker (1923- 2012)
The United States Department of Justice's first air-crash attorney, counsel to the United States Senate, and the Federal Aviation Administration as Assistant Systems Administrator for General Aviation. He also served as president of both the AOPA and International Council of Aircraft Owner and Pilot Associations (IAOPA), the latter of which saw him represent 37 countries in the ICAO.
1992 Robert L. Crandall (1935-present)
President of American Airlines. Credited with creating the first frequent flyer program in the airline industry, the AAdvantage program, as well as pioneering modern reservations systems through the creation of Sabre.
1993 Sir Frank Whittle/Dr. Hans von Ohain
Von Ohain independently developed the first jet engine during the same period that Frank Whittle was doing the same in the UK, their designs an example of simultaneous invention. Von Ohain's Heinkel HeS 1 ran only weeks before Whittle's WU, but did not run on its own power until six months later. von Ohain's design flew first in 1939, followed by Whittle's in 1941. Operational jet aircraft from both countries entered use only weeks apart.
1995 Anthony W."Tony" LeVier (1913 –1998)
1994 Lt. General Benjamin Davis, Jr. (1912 – 2002)
was the first officer to get his wings from the Tuskegee Army Air Field on March 7, 1942. Later to become the Commander of the World War II Tuskegee Airmen. The first Black fighter squadron. Davis himself led dozens of missions in P-47 Thunderbolts and P-51 Mustangs. He received the Silver Star, and the Distinguished Flying Cross.
as an air racer and test pilot for the Lockheed Corporation from the 1940s to the 1970s. LeVier started at Lockheed ferrying Hudson bombers to Canada for delivery to the Royal Air Force. He also tested two evolutions of the P-80: the T-33 and the three variants of the F-94 Starfire. He also performed most of the tests of the XF-90 penetration fighter prototype. He also flew the first flights of the XF-104 Starfighter, and the U-2.
1996 Ann Wood-Kelly (1918 – 2006)
Traveled with Jackie Cochran to the United Kingdom to join the British Air Transport Auxiliary. During her time as a ferry pilot with the ATA she flew more than 900 aircraft of 75 different types ranging from the single-engined Supermarine Spitfire fighter to the four-engined Avro Lancaster heavy bomber. In 1946, she was awarded the King's Medal for Courage in the Cause of Freedom for her services to the United Kingdom. After the war she became an assistant to the United States Air attaché in London before she returned to the United States. She became a public relations manager for Northeast Airlines, and later worked for Pan American Airways, becoming the first female vice-president with Pan Am.
1997 Vice Admiral Donald E. Eagen (1924 - 1999)
Served as a dive bomber pilot on the aircraft carrier Lexington. He was awarded the Navy Cross, the Distinguished Flying Cross and the Air Medal. After the war, he was commander of the carrier America in the Atlantic and the Mediterranean. He became Head of the National Air and Space Museum at the Smithsonian Institution and was a former administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration.
1998 Brig. General Frank K. "Pete" Everest, Jr. (1920 – 2004)
The chief Air Force test pilot at Edwards Air Force Base. While head of the Flight Test Operations Division. During his stay at Edwards, General Everest tested the X-1, 2, 3, 4 and 5; XF-92 and YB-52. He also took part in test programs for the F-88, 100, 101, 102, 104 and 105; the B-52, 57 and 66 aircraft. On October 29, 1953, he established a world speed record of 755.149 mph in a F-100A. Later flights in the Bell X-2 rocket plane established him as "the fastest man alive" when he attained a new unofficial speed record of 1,957 mph or Mach 2.9.
1999 Paul "Ed" Yost (1919 – 2007)
was the American inventor of the modern hot air balloon and is referred to as the "Father of the Modern Day Hot-Air Balloon." Fueled by bottled propane it became possible for the balloonist to re-heat the air inside the balloon for a longer flight. Yost’s invention improved modern hot-air balloons into semi-maneuverable aircraft. Yost's other hot-air balloon patents included nonporous synthetic fabrics, maneuvering vents, and deflation systems for landing.
2000 Brian Jones/Bertrand Piccard
On March 20, 1999, the Breitling Orbiter 3 balloon, piloted by Brian Jones and Bertrand Piccard, became the first balloon to fly nonstop around the world.
2001 Robert J. Gilliland (1926- 2019)
made the first flight of the SR-71 on December 22, 1964, taking the aircraft to mach 1.5 and a 50,000 feet altitude. He was the first and principal test pilot for the SR-71 Aircraft Series He went on to test the fastest and highest flying airplanes ever built, including the A-Il, A-12, YF-12A, and the SR-71. Bob was the first man to fly the SR-71A, the SR-71B, and the SR-71C. During the SR-71 program, Gilliland continued to be the first pilot to fly each Blackbird as it became operational, logging more experimental supersonic flight test-time above Mach 2 and Mach 3 than any other pilot.
2003 Albert L. Ueltschi (1917 – 2012)
2002 Phil Boyer (1952-present)
Past President of AOPA He helped pass the General Aviation Revitalization Act, which helped to turn around the decline in American aircraft manufacturing . He also championed civilian use of GPS and WAAS, and later ADS-B to benefit general aviation.
is considered the father of modern aviation training and was the founder of FlightSafety International. The company provides training for fixed and rotary wing pilots, flight attendants, dispatchers, and maintenance technicians. Ueltschi was once personal pilot to Juan Trippe and an associate to Charles Lindbergh.
2004 Frank D. Robinson (1930 - present)
is an engineer and the founder, President and Chief Executive Officer of Robinson Helicopter Company of Torrance, California. In the early 1970s, he designed the Robinson R22 helicopter, a popular, light, two-place civilian aircraft. the R22 soon became the world’s top selling civil helicopter. In addition, the R22 holds most world records in its weight class including speed and altitude.
2005 Space Ship One Team
completed the first manned private spaceflight in 2004. That same year, they won the $10 million Ansari X Prize. The mother ship that carried Space Ship One was named "White Knight". Both craft were developed and flown by Mojave Aerospace Ventures, which was a joint venture between Paul Allen and Scaled Composites, Burt Rutan's aviation company.
2006 Steve Fossett (1944 – 2007)
A record-setting aviator, sailor, and adventurer. He was the first person to fly solo nonstop around the world in a balloon. In 2005 Fossett made the first solo, nonstop unrefueled circumnavigation of the world in an airplane, in 67 hours in the Virgin Atlantic GlobalFlyer, a single-engine jet aircraft. He was best known for many world records, including five nonstop circumnavigations of the Earth He holds records as a long-distance solo balloonist, as a sailor, and as a solo flight fixed-wing aircraft pilot.
2007 Alan & Dale Klapmeier
together founded the Cirrus Aircraft Corporation in 1984. In their effort to create the worlds safest private aircraft, Cirrus was the first aircraft manufacturer to install a whole-plane parachute recovery system as a standard on all their aircraft. Cirrus was also the first to use all-composite airframe construction and glass panel cockpits on production aircraft.
2008 Vern Raburn (1950- present)
Developed the concept of the VLJ (very light jet). Founder of Eclipse Aviation Corporation manufacturer of the Eclipse 500. He holds type ratings in more than 15 aircraft types ranging from WWII bombers to piston airliners to modern corporate jets. He is on the board of directors of the Experimental Aircraft Association and the Executive Council for the FAA's Research, Engineering and Development Advisory Committee (REDAC).
2009 Rudy Frasca (1931- present)
Developer of flight simulation training devices that have enhanced world aviation safety through advances in flight training. Frasca International was founded in 1958 by Rudy Frasca. Frasca International has produced over 2600 training devices delivered in approximately 70 countries throughout the world. Frasca flight simulators are used in all segments of the aviation industry, including their extensive use in many prominent college aviation programs.
2010 Eugene ”Gene" F. Kranz & Joseph E. Gavin, Jr. Kranz (1933-present)
is a retired NASA Flight Director and manager. "Gene" Kranz served as a Flight Director during the Gemini and Apollo programs, and is best known for his role in directing the successful Mission Control team efforts to save the crew of Apollo 13. During this flight he is credited with the quote "Failure is not an option". Joseph G. Gavin Jr. (1920 – 2010)
was an American engineer responsible for the development of the lunar module used in the Apollo program, as well as president, chief operating officer and chairman of the executive committee of the Grumman Corporation. Working with Kranz and the Apollo team he was instrumental in saving the crew of Apollo 13.
2011 Commander Eileen M. Collins (1956- present)
is a retired NASA astronaut and a retired United States Air Force colonel. A former military flight instructor and test pilot, Collins was the first female pilot and first female commander of a Space Shuttle. Collins was also the first female commander of a U.S. Spacecraft with Shuttle mission STS-93.
2012 Herbert D. "Herb" Kelleher (1931-2019
) The co-founder, Chairman Emeritus, and former CEO of Southwest Airlines. Champion of deregulation. He founded Southwest Airlines in 1967 His vision for the company was revolutionary at the time: eliminating unnecessary services and utilizing secondary airports in order to offer the lowest fares in the industry. Southwest Airlines is the only airline to consecutively show a profit for more then 30 years.
2013 Joseph F. Sutter ( 1921- 2016)
"The father of the 747". Lead engineer at Boeing Aircraft developing the 707, 727, 737, and the first "jumbo jet" the 747. Sutter also served on the Rogers Commission, investigating the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster.
2014 Richard VanGrunsven (1939-present)
is an American aircraft designer and kitplane manufacturer. The number of VanGrunsven-designed homebuilt aircraft produced each year in North America exceeds the combined production of all commercial general aviation companies. He currently serves on the board of directors of the Experimental Aircraft Association.
2015 Abraham Karem (1937-present)
Developed his first drone during the Yom Kippur war for Israeli Air force. In the 1970's he emigrated to USA and founded Leading Systems Inc, in his home garage where he started manufacturing his first long flight duration drone. His drone Albatross and later on more sophisticated Amber eventually evolved into the most famous American drone "Predator" that brought him the title of "dronefather”. He is currently developing a UAV helicopter and a commercial tiltrotor aircraft.
2016 Clay Lacy (1932-present)
is the founder and chief executive officer of Clay Lacy Aviation, established in 1968. His professional resume includes airline captain, military aviator, experimental test pilot, air race champion, world record-setter, aerial cinematographer. During his time with United Airlines, Lacy flew the Convair 340, Douglas DC-3, Douglas DC-4,Douglas DC-6, Douglas DC-7, Douglas DC-8, Douglas DC-10, Boeing 727 and Boeing 747-400. In 1970, he placed first in the Reno National Air Races Unlimited class competition.
2017 Harrison Ford (1942-present)
Past President of the “Young Eagles”. Mr. Ford has been a strong advocate of youth in aviation. He has piloted and been personally responsible for several rescue missions, and has gone to Capitol Hill to advocate for general aviation. He has spent a lifetime expanding aviation outreach and the spirit of flight to the public at large.
2018 Captain James Lovell, Jr. (1928-Present)
is a former NASA astronaut, Naval Aviator, and retired Navy captain. Lovell is known for being the commander of the ill-fated Apollo 13 mission, which suffered a critical failure en route to the Moon but was brought back safely to Earth through the efforts of the crew and mission control. In addition to being part of the Apollo 13 crew, Lovell was the command module pilot of Apollo 8, the first Apollo mission to enter lunar orbit.
2019 Martin-Baker Aircraft Company, Ltd.
In recognition of their successful development and manufacture of aircraft ejection seats. Martin-Baker ejection seats have saved more than 7,500 pilot’s lives, and by doing so have increased pilot safety throughout the world.