They dreamed the dreams. They harnessed the technologies. They created a world where the sky was no longer the limit. The National Aviation Hall of Fame honors them for their service to country, their ingenuity, their courage, and their vision. The stories of our NAHF enshrinees are stories of America…of challenge and failure, of determination and triumph. We honor the people who have made American aerospace great. We inspire by sharing their stories to the future of aerospace.
In 1929, Olive Ann had played a vital behind-the-scenes-role when the speedy Travel Air “Mystery Ship” won the first Thompson Trophy Race, thus becoming the first civilian plane to defeat the fastest military fighters in open competition. Formed the Beech Aircraft Company with her husband Walter. In 1934 they introduced the Beechcraft Staggerwing biplane to serve corporate and airline needs. Suggested that the entry of a woman in the 1936 transcontinental Bendix Trophy Race to advertise the Staggerwing. Louise Thaden (enshrined in 1999) not only promoted the aircraft, but competed against the nation’s best male pilots and won the coveted...View All Enshrinees
Pilot, Promotor, & Advocate Born: NEED BIRTHDATE 1932 in Davenport, Iowa. Enshrined: 2009 Flew as a jet pilot in the U.S. Air Force from 1955 to 1958 and with the U.S. Marine Air Corps Reserves from 1958 to 1961. Accomplished commercial, instrument-rated pilot with more than 17,000 hours of flight time and type rated in all models of the Cessna Citation business jet. Served as President and Chief Executive Officer of Grumman American Aviation Corporation in Cleveland, Ohio from 1966 to 1974. Led Cessna from 1975 to 2003 as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer and was named Chairman Emeritus in...View All Enshrinees
Entrepreneur Born: December 5, 1879 in Hawthorne, Iowa. Death: November 20, 1954 Enshrined: 1978 Built his own monoplane and taught himself how to fly in 1911. His second plane, named The Comet, featured a partially enclosed cockpit and he made thirty breath-taking exhibitions in it, thrilling thousands with his twisting dives and steep banks and setting an unbelievable speed record of 125 miles per hour. Helped form Travel Air Manufacturing Company and developed advanced monoplane models as well as biplanes. In 1927, two monoplane models the City of Oakland and the Wollaroc set transpacific records. Cessna then formed Cessna Aircraft...View All Enshrinees
Became the Wichita State University’s first aeronautical engineering graduate in 1933. Reorganized the Cessna Aircraft Company which was forced to shut down during the Great Depression. Clyde Cessna (enshrined 1978) was named President while Dwane, at age 23, volunteered as General Manager. Developed the C-34 Airmaster in 1934 which was soon crowned the world’s most efficient airplane. Wallace often piloted a C-34 in races to boost company fame and sales â and sometimes used winnings to meet the payroll. Became Cessna Aircraft Company’s President at age 25 and also served as the company salesman and test pilot. Produced aircraft for...View All Enshrinees
Earned a spot on the US Aerobatic Team in 1985, five years after getting her pilot’s license. Became the first woman to win the US National Aerobatic Championships in 1991 where she earned the gold medal in each of her three flights. Won the US National Aerobatic Championships three years in a row. Earned a position on the US Aerobatic Team at the World Aerobatic Championships six times and won the Betty Skelton “First Lady of Aerobatics” Award six times. Her airplane was featured on Microsoft’s Flight Simulator where it was the only airplane on the simulator associated with a...View All Enshrinees
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