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Nominees sought for Combs Gates Award

The National Aviation Hall of Fame is receiving entries for this year’s $20,000 Combs Gates Award that honors those who preserve air and space history. Past winners have included historians, book authors, and those who helped erect and restore the Wright Brothers National Memorial Monument.

A blue-ribbon panel of five judges will independently review each project and applicants will be notified of the winner by Sept. 19. Full details of the criteria, eligibility, and guidelines for applying for the award are available online. The deadline for submissions is July 30.

The 2010 award ceremony will take place, as it has each year, at the opening general session of the National Business Aviation Association annual meeting and convention. The NBAA convention is the largest civil aviation trade show in the world and is set for Oct. 19 through 21 at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta.

The Combs Gates Award was originally named for its founder, Harry Combs, enshrined in the National Aviation Hall of Fame, and first presented at NBAA during the centennial anniversary of powered flight in 2003. Combs, an aviation pioneer, author, businessman, and philanthropist, died later that same year at age 90. Combs funded the initial three years of the award as part of an overall $1.3 million gift to the National Aviation Hall of Fame Learning and Research Center made prior to its opening in 2003.

In 2006, the award’s name was changed to the Combs Gates Award to reflect new ongoing support of the Charles C. and June S. Gates family through a multi-year Gates Frontiers Fund grant to continue the contest. Charles C. Gates, who died in 2005 at age 84, was a prominent business aviation partner of Combs and shared his passion for the preservation of America’s air and space history.

Alton Marsh

Alton K. Marsh

Freelance journalist
Alton K. Marsh is a former senior editor of AOPA Pilot and is now a freelance journalist specializing in aviation topics.

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