The Dayton, Ohio-based nonprofit dedicated to honoring the nation’s aerospace legends announced the 2017 enshrinements at the National Business Aviation Association's Business Aviation Convention and Exhibit in Orlando, Florida. The enshrinees will be inducted in a ceremony at a date to be announced.
- NASA Administrator Charles Bolden Jr., a four-time veteran of the Space Shuttle, retired Marine Corps major general, and fighter pilot.
- The late M. Scott Carpenter, the Navy test pilot who became the second American to orbit the earth as one of the original Mercury 7 astronauts. Carpenter helped design the Apollo lunar module, and developed underwater training for spacewalks.
- Robert J. Gilliland, an Air Force jet fighter and test pilot who was recruited by aeronautical engineer Clarence Leonard “Kelly” Johnson to lead Lockheed’s Skunk Works in the testing of its record-breaking SR-71 aircraft. Gilliland has logged more test-flight hours above Mach 3 than any other pilot.
- The late Sir Frank Whittle, the “Founder of the Jet Age,” who built the first practical turbojet engine in 1937, and whose subsequent engine technology led directly to development of the jet aircraft industry in the United States, to which he emigrated from the United Kingdom in 1976.
Each year, the National Aviation Hall of Fame’s Board of Nominations, a voting body made up of more than 140 aviation professionals nationwide, selects a handful of previously nominated air and space pioneers to be recognized for their achievements with enshrinement into the National Aviation Hall of Fame. It has inducted 233 men and women since its founding in 1962, with a mission to honor America’s aerospace legends to inspire future leaders.
The fifty-fifth annual National Aviation Hall of Fame Enshrinement Dinner and Ceremony will be open to the public. Reservations will be available by advance purchase.