An “exemplary” Class of 2015 will be inducted into the International Air and Space Hall of Fame at the San Diego Air and Space Museum in a gala celebration and ceremony scheduled for Nov. 19.
The event to honor the inductees—who were “selected for their qualitative achievements and historic contributions to aviation, space or aerospace innovation or expanding the public’s aviation and space awareness to the world”—will take place in the Pavilion of Flight at the museum. The International Air and Space Hall of Fame is known as “the world’s most prestigious air and space hall of fame,” according to a news release announcing the event.
Here are the 2015 inductees.
- Alan Mulally, who joined Boeing in 1969 and progressed through numerous engineering and program-management projects, making contributions on every Boeing commercial airplane from the model 727 through the 787.
- William F. Chana, who was involved with many key aeronautical projects beginning in World War II when he worked as a flight test engineer on a number of Convair aircraft. He later became the developer and test pilot of the Wee Bee, dubbed “the world’s smallest plane.”
- Thomas J. Cassidy and Frank S. Pace of General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, a company that has made bold strides in the field of unmanned aircraft systems, and is now among a short list of contractors building the defense industry’s remotely piloted vehicles.
- Robert G. Ferry, who began his career as a fighter pilot, later “became an expert in helicopters,” and “made profound contributions in 24 years of flight testing, including on the still widely used Apache AH-64 helicopter.”
- Frederick M. Trapnell, the first U.S. Navy pilot to fly a jet aircraft, who “was considered the best, most experienced naval test aviator of his generation.” He also co-founded the branch’s first test pilot school.
- The Experimental Aircraft Association and the EAA Young Eagles. “Founded in 1953, the EAA has grown from a handful of home built aviation enthusiasts to an international aviation organization and the Young Eagles program has provided first flights for more than 1.9 million children.” EAA Chairman of the Board Jack Pelton will accept the induction on behalf of EAA; Chairman and aerobatic pilot Sean D. Tucker will accept on behalf of the Young Eagles.
- Kenneth and Jean Friedkin. Kenneth Friedkin was an American aviator and businessman who earned his pilot certificate at the age of 17. Friedkin opened a flight school in 1945, first known as the Plosser-Friedkin School, and later named the Friedkin School of Aeronautics. The two created Pacific Southwest Airlines in 1949.
- U.S. Rep. Sam Johnson (R-Texas) is a decorated war hero and native Texan who served 29 years in the U.S. Air Force. Johnson flew combat missions in the Korean and Vietnam wars, and endured nearly seven years as a prisoner of war in Hanoi.
“We’re especially pleased to honor this exemplary Class of 2015 because these pioneers have not only made significant contributions in air and space exploration, they’ve also become strong positive role models for today’s youth,” said Jim Kidrick, president and CEO of the San Diego Air and Space Museum.
“Aviation and space exploration, as embodied by the people we honor in the International Air & Space Hall of Fame, is a metaphor for the human pioneering spirit. It’s a critical and key element of our exploring nature. We must inspire and provide a pathway for today’s kids to challenge the science, technology, engineering and math, which are so important to our future,” he said.
The International Air and Space Hall of Fame “has honored more than 200 of the world’s most significant aviation pilots, crew members, visionaries, inventors, aerospace engineers, business leaders, preservationists, designers and space pioneers” since 1963.
Proceeds from the event benefit the museum’s youth education programs.