The National Hall of Fame, in Dayton, Ohio, began inducting aviation pioneers in 1962. The first were, naturally enough, Wilbur and Orville Wright, followed by 153 other aviation notables. The hall of Famers (with their year of induction) are as follows:
Allen, William McP. (1900-1985). Led development of commercial and military jet travel. Helped to advance supersonic flight and space travel in various roles at Boeing Airplane Co. 1971.
Andrews, Frank M. (1884-1943). Reorganized Army Air Corps. Helped establish independent General Headquarters Air Force. 1986.
Armstrong, Neil A. (born 1930). Served as a military pilot and test pilot of X-15 and other supersonic aircraft. Astronaut on the Gemini 8 and Apollo 11 space missions. First man to walk on the moon. 1979.
Arnold, H. H. "Hap" (1886-1950). Made many pioneering flights. Won first Mackay Trophy. Led Army Air Forces in World War II. Only aviator to attain five-star rank. Founding father of the Air Force Association. 1967.
Atwood, J. Leland (born 1904). Designed BT-9, O-47, AT-6, P-51, B-25, P-82, FJ-1, and AJ-1 aircraft for North American Aviation. Led company as it developed F-86, F-100, XB-70, X-15, B-1, and various spacecraft and boosters. 1984.
Balchen, Bernt (1899-1973). First pilot to fly over the South Pole. Later, the first to fly over both poles. Founder of Norwegian Airlines. Served USAF as Arctic aviation expert. Received Harmon Trophy. 1973.
Baldwin, Thomas S. (1854-1923). Pioneered balloon flights. Improved parachutes. Developed successful dirigibles (including the first one for the Signal Corps). 1964.
Beachey, Lincoln (1887-1915). Demonstrated flight capabilities of aircraft. Performed such maneuvers as spin recovery and inside loop. 1966.
Beech, Olive Ann (1903-1993). Led Beech Aircraft Co., including tenure as chief executive officer. Honored as "The First Lady of Aviation." 1981.
Beech, Walter H. (1891-1950). Created such innovative aircraft as the Staggerwing, Model 18, Bonanza, UC-45, F-2, AT-7, AT-10, AT-11, and T-34. 1977.
Bell, Alexander Graham (1847-1922). Performed research into principles of lift, propulsion, and control. Advanced scientific test facilities. Promoted independent US Air Force. 1965.
Bell, Lawrence D. (1894-1956). Developed such innovative and unique aircraft as P-59 (first US jet aircraft), X-1 (used to break sound barrier), X-5, and X-14. Developed first commercially licensed helicopter. 1977.
Bellanca, Giuseppe M. (1886-1960). Aerospace designer and aviator. Built first parasol monoplane. Built the Bellanca CF--first aircraft design to include distinctive wing struts. Designed the WB-1 for the Wright Aeronautical Corp. of Paterson, N. J. Designed and built Miss Veedol, which in 1931 completed the first nonstop Pacific crossing. 1993.
Bendix, Vincent H. (1882-1945). Aerospace executive and designer. Founded Bendix Aviation Corp. Invented the pressure carburetor for aircraft engines. 1991.
Boeing, William E. (1881-1956). Organized network of airline routes in the 1920s. Founded namesake company that would produce many military and commercial aircraft types from World War I to the present. 1966.
Bong, Richard I. (1920-1945). Demonstrated immense skill as fighter pilot. Became America's all-time leading ace with 40 confirmed victories. Died preparing to test gunnery skills in new jet fighter, the P-80. 1986.
Borman, Frank (born 1928). Military pilot and astronaut. Commanded Gemini 7 and Apollo 8 (first manned spacecraft to orbit the moon). Became Eastern Air Lines executive. 1982.
Boyd, Albert (1906-1976). Set world speed record in the P-80R. Served as engineer and logistician during World War II. Promoted scientific flight test. 1984.
Bradley, Mark E., Jr. (born 1907). USAF general and military aviator. Project officer for the newly ordered P-47. Assisted in improvement in P-51 design that helped decimate the German Luftwaffe. Among other posts, commanded 301st Fighter Wing on Okinawa in 1946 and Air Force Logistics Command from 1962 to 1965. 1992.
Brown, George S. (1918-1978). Served as bomber pilot in World War II. Provided leadership during Korean and Vietnam Wars. Was Air Force Chief of Staff and later Chairman of Joint Chiefs of Staff. 1985.
Byrd, Richard E. (1888-1957). Pioneered use of airplanes in polar regions, making flights over both poles. Acquired scientific knowledge of these regions for more than 30 years. Received peacetime Medal of Honor and Medal of Freedom. 1968.
Cessna, Clyde V. (1879-1954). Developed early monoplanes. Formed and managed several aircraft manufacturing companies, including namesake company. Produced high-efficiency general-aviation aircraft. 1978.
Chamberlin, Clarence D. (1893-1976). Set record endurance and altitude flights. Made 1927 nonstop flight from Long Island, N. Y., to Germany. Promoted public flying. 1976.
Chanute, Octave (1832-1910). Wrote Progress in Flying Machines. Demonstrated successful man-carrying gliders. Served as counselor to the Wright brothers and others engaged in flight research. 1963.
Chennault, Claire L. (1890-1958). Developed science of fighter tactics and doctrine. Showed distinguished leadership in China as commander of American Volunteer Group (the Flying Tigers) and Fourteenth Air Force. 1972.
Cochran, Jacqueline (birthdate unknown; died 1980). Was first woman to fly in Bendix Trophy Race. Organized Women's Airforce Service Pilots (WASPs) program during World War II. Won Harmon Trophy. Was first woman to exceed speed of sound. Served as president of National Aeronautic Association and Fédération Aéronautique Internationale. 1971.
Collins, Michael (born 1930). Served as Air Force test pilot. Was astronaut on Gemini 10 and Apollo 11 missions. Was planner, developer, and overseer of Smithsonian Institution's National Air and Space Museum. 1985.
Combs, Harry B. (born 1913). Aerospace executive and aviator. Founder of Combs Aircraft, which later became AMR Combs after merger with Gates Rubber Corp. Helped engineer merger with Learjet Corp. to form Gates Learjet Corp. President of Gates Learjet from 1971 to 1982. Helped develop today's air traffic control system. Received the Wright Brothers Memorial Trophy in 1985 for "significant public service of enduring value to aviation in the United States." 1996.
Conrad, Charles, Jr. (born 1930). Served as Navy test pilot. Was astronaut on Gemini 5, Gemini 11, Apollo 12, and Skylab 2 space missions. Was third man to walk on the moon. 1980.
Crawford, Frederick C. (1891-1994). Aerospace executive and engineer. Served as president of Thompson Products, Inc. (now TRW, Inc.) which developed the sodium-cooled valve used in Spirit of St. Louis. Established Thompson Auto Album and Aviation Museum in Cleveland, Ohio. 1993.
Crossfield, A. Scott (born 1921). Piloted such research aircraft as D-558-II, X-4, X-5, and X-15. Was first pilot to exceed Mach 2 and first to surpass Mach 3 and survive. Helped form Society of Experimental Test Pilots. Won Collier Trophy and SETP's Iven Kincheloe Award. Developed advanced flight controls. 1983.
Cunningham, Alfred A. (1882-1939). Was first Marine aviator. Made first catapult launch from an underway ship. Led Marine aviation in early decades of flight. 1965.
Curtiss, Glenn H. (1878-1930). Developed lightweight engines. Improved airplanes and control systems. Created basic new craft, such as seaplanes and amphibians. Constructed first airplane to take off and land on a ship and first airplane to fly across the Atlantic. 1964.
Davis, Benjamin O., Jr. (born 1912). USAF general and military aviator. First African-American cadet in the twentieth century to graduate from the US Military Academy at West Point. First black AAF pilot to earn wings. Member of the Tuskegee Airmen. Air Forces first black general officer. 1994.
deSeversky, Alexander P. (1894-1974). Was industrialist, author, strategist, and pilot with 13 aerial victories in World War I. Invented in-flight refueling and first gyroscopically stabilized bombsight. 1970.
Doolittle, James H. (1896-1993). Made first accurate measurement of effects of acceleration in flight. Made first takeoff, flight, and landing completely on instruments. Made first outside loop. Organized and led first raid on Japan in April 1942 (for which he received the Medal of Honor). Commanded Twelfth, Fifteenth, and Eighth Air Forces during World War II. Was first National President of Air Force Association. 1967.
Douglas, Donald W. (1892-1981). Designed and manufactured many types of military and commercial aircraft, including Douglas World Cruiser, SBD, A-26, C-74, D-558-II, C-124, A-4, and DC-3. 1969.
Draper, Charles Stark (1901-1987). Developed new aircraft instruments (to monitor engines), gyroscopic sights, automatic inertial guidance systems for aircraft, missiles, and spacecraft, and fly-by-wire control systems for aircraft. 1981.
Eaker, Ira C. (1896-1987). Served as chief pilot of Question Mark during 1929 record endurance flight. Made first "blind" transcontinental flight. Organized VIII Bomber Command. Commanded Eighth Air Force and served as deputy commander of Army Air Forces. 1970.
Earhart, Amelia (1897-1937?). Promoted interests of women in flying. Set numerous records and milestones. Was first woman to fly (as a passenger) across the Atlantic, first to make a nonstop transcontinental flight (as pilot), and first to pilot an autogiro. 1968.
Eielson, Carl Ben (1897-1929). Was first person to fly over polar regions. Devoted his life to bringing aviation to sparsely populated regions. 1985.
Ellyson, Theodore G. (1885-1928). Pioneered with seaplanes and catapults. First naval aviator. 1964.
Ely, Eugene B. (1886-1911). Made first unassisted takeoff from a naval vessel. Made first successful landing and takeoff from same ship, thus proving practicality of aircraft carriers. 1965.
Everest, Frank K. "Pete" (born 1920). Served as pilot during World War II. As test pilot, established unofficial altitude record of 73,000 feet in X-1, set world speed record of 755.149 mph in F-100, and flew X-1B to Mach 2.3 and X-2 to record Mach 2.9 in 1956. Tested X-3, X-4, X-5, XF-92, YB-52, and most "Century Series" Air Force fighters. 1989.
Fairchild, Sherman M. (1896-1971). Developed precision aerial cameras, such advanced types of commercial and military aircraft as the PT-19, C-119, and F-27 and their engines, and space-related satellites and components, including semiconductors. 1979.
Fleet, Reuben H. (1887-1975). Provided leadership role in military flight training. Organized airmail service. Developed successful training aircraft and flying boats for commercial and military use and such multiengine bombers as B-24, B-32, and B-36. 1975.
Fokker, Anthony H. G. (1890-1939). Designed Dr.I, D.VII, D.VIII, and T-2, which was first aircraft to fly across US nonstop. Designed synchronized machine gun. Developed airliners vital to establishment of worldwide air routes. 1980.
Ford, Henry (1863-1947). Produced aircraft engines in World War I and aircraft and engines in World War II. Built first modern airport and trimotor airliner. 1984.
Foss, Joe (born 1915). Was second leading Marine Corps ace in World War II. Received Medal of Honor. Established South Dakota Air National Guard. Was National President of Air Force Association. 1984.
Foulois, Benjamin D. (1879-1967). Participated in trials of first military airplane and designed first airplane radio receiver. Pressed for improved long-range military aircraft. Served as Chief of the Army Air Corps from 1931 to 1935. 1963.
Frye, William J. "Jack" (1904-1959). Airline executive and aviator. Founded Aero Corp., which formed Standard Airlines, a major airmail transporter later consolidated to make TWA. Served as president of TWA. Set numerous records in commercial aircraft. Set and broke the transcontinental speed record three times. 1992.
Gabreski, Francis S. "Gabby" (born 1919). Demonstrated unusual valor and combat tactics in becoming third leading Army Air Forces ace in World War II and one of the top aces in Korea. Number one living American ace. 1978.
Gentile, Don S. (1920-1951). Military aviator. Part of fearsome two-man fighter team (with Capt. John T. Godfrey) that destroyed more than 50 German aircraft in the air and on the ground during World War II. 1995.
Gilruth, Robert R. (born 1913). Aerospace executive. Managed the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics, which became NASA. Directed the Manned Spacecraft Center and the Apollo 11 program. 1994.
Glenn, John H., Jr. (born 1921). Was fighter pilot in World War II and Korea. First to make supersonic transcontinental flight. Was first American astronaut to orbit Earth, in 1962. Now a US Senator. 1976.
Goddard, George W. (1889-1987). Developed aerial photography for wartime reconnaissance and peacetime aerial mapping. 1976.
Goddard, Robert H. (1882-1945). Invented the bazooka. Launched first successful liquid-fueled rocket. Solved problems of rocket control. Developed parachute recovery system for rockets. 1966.
Godfrey, Arthur (1903-1983). Promoted aviation on radio and television programs. As a pilot, carried out record-setting, around-the-world flight in a JetCommander business aircraft. 1987.
Goldwater, Barry M. (born 1909). Served military aviation as a pilot and administrator and as a US Senator supporting national defense, space developments, and commercial and private aviation. 1982.
Grissom, Virgil I. "Gus" (1926-1967). Served as Air Force fighter pilot in Korea. Was astronaut on second Mercury mission and first Gemini mission. Died in Apollo capsule fire. 1987.
Gross, Robert E. (1897-1961). Led Lockheed Aircraft Co. in various capacities in manufacture of commercial and military aircraft from 1932 to the space age. 1970.
Grumman, Leroy R. (1895-1982). Developed such engineering innovations as folding wings. Designed aircraft from FF-1 through lunar module. 1972.
Guggenheim, Harry F. (1890-1971). Operated Daniel Guggenheim Fund (which proved feasibility of passenger service). Provided first aviation weather-reporting service. Provided full-flight laboratory where Jimmy Doolittle made the first "blind" flight. 1971.
Haughton, Daniel J. (1911-1987). Led development of Lockheed C-130 transport. Brought the L-1011 TriStar to market. Served as Lockheed's board chairman. 1987.
Hegenberger, Albert F. (1895-1983). Pioneered instruments and systems, such as first fully automatic flight control. Made first flight to Hawaii (which won the 1927 Mackay Trophy) and first solo "blind" flight (which won the 1934 Collier Trophy). Served in the Army Air Forces. 1976.
Heinemann, Edward H. (1908-1991). Designed and developed such military aircraft as the Douglas A-20, A-26, A-1, D-558-11, A-3, and A-4. Worked as aerospace consultant. 1981.
Hoover, Robert A. (born 1922). As longtime test pilot for North American Aviation, performed aerobatics for millions of spectators. Led Society of Experimental Test Pilots. 1988.
Hughes, Howard R. (1905-1976). Developed such advanced design aircraft as the H-1 and H-4. Set aerial records demonstrating the capabilities of a variety of aircraft. Developed domestic and international commercial aviation. 1973.
Ingalls, David S. (1899-1985). Was only US Navy ace in World War I. Established aviation legal codes. Developed Naval Air Transport Service during World War II. Promoted commercial and private flying. 1983.
James, Daniel "Chappie," Jr. (1920-1978). USAF general and military aviator. Member of the Tuskegee Airmen during World War II. Flew 101 combat missions in Korean War. First African-American four-star general. 1993.
Jeppesen, Elrey B. (born 1907). Aerial cartographer and aviator. Created the Jepp Charts--the first navigational aid designed specifically for use by pilots to guide them in their flights. Charts were adopted by the US Navy as the "Airways Manual," now a standard guide for pilots. 1990.
Johnson, Clarence L. "Kelly" (1910-1990). Created innovative technical concepts that significantly advanced aircraft design, performance, and reliability. Helped design Lockheed P-38, T-33, U-2, and SR-71 aircraft. Helped achieve supersonic flight and spaceflight. 1974.
Johnston, Alvin M. "Tex" (born 1914). Test pilot and aerospace executive. While working at Bell Aircraft Co., tested some of the nation's most advanced aircraft. Flight-tested worlds first swept-wing bomber for Boeing Aircraft Co. 1993.
Jones, Thomas V. (born 1920). Aerospace executive and aeronautical engineer. Helped establish the Aeronautical Institute of Technology in Brazil. Worked 39 years for Northrop Corp., establishing it as a multimillion dollar company. Developed several systems that became state of the art in aviation technology. 1992.
Kenney, George C. (1889-1977). Developed wing-mounted machine guns and other warplane armament. Was Gen. Douglas MacArthur's top air officer in the Pacific region in World War II. Organized postwar Strategic Air Command. Was National President of Air Force Association. 1971.
Kettering, Charles F. (1876-1958). Developed reliable engine ignition systems. Laid out principles for and built one of the first cruise missiles. Developed tetraethyl-lead engine "knock" suppressant and high-compression engines and fuels. 1979.
Kindelberger, James H. "Dutch" (1895-1962). Developed aeronautical designs and precision manufacturing techniques that helped North American Aviation build the AT-6, B-25, P-51, F-86, F-100, X-15, and XB-70. Contributed to development of Apollo spacecraft. 1972.
Knabenshue, A. Roy (1876-1960). Performed public demonstrations of balloons and steerable balloons. Designed and built early dirigibles. Managed airplane exhibition teams for the Wright brothers. 1965.
Knight, William J. "Pete" (born 1929). Was Air Force test pilot in the F-100, F-104, F-5, and especially X-15, in which he set unofficial speed record of Mach 6.7 and earned astronaut wings. 1988.
Lahm, Frank P. (1877-1963). Was the Army's first airplane and dirigible pilot and an early proponent of aircraft for military purposes. Organized training facilities for Army Air Corps. Held unofficial title "Father of the West Point of the Air." 1963.
Langley, Samuel P. (1834-1906). Studied air and space. Demonstrated the practicality of mechanical flight and provided inspirational guidance to others. 1963.
Lear, William P., Sr. (1902-1978). Developed advanced radio-operated navigation and control systems and Learjet family of business aircraft. 1978.
LeMay, Curtis E. (1906-1990). Was lead navigator on two historic B-17 flights to South America. Commanded XXI Bomber Command and Twentieth Air Force during World War II. Commanded US Air Forces in Europe (organized Berlin Airlift) and was architect of Strategic Air Command. Served as Air Force Chief of Staff from 1961 to 1965. 1972.
LeVier, Anthony W. (born 1913). Raced high-speed planes. Flight-tested Lockheed P-38, XP-80, F-104, and U-2 and contributed knowledge about flight safety. 1978.
Lindbergh, Anne Morrow (born 1906). Made pioneering flights to survey air routes to the Orient and Europe. Wrote extensively to encourage aviation and air travel. 1979.
Lindbergh, Charles A. (1902-1974). Made first solo flight across the Atlantic, in 1927. Pioneered the Great Circle Route. Provided valuable technical service to Army Air Forces before and during World War II. 1967.
Link, Edwin A. (1904-1981). Pioneered improvements in flight training and safety through development of unique groundbased trainers and simulators. 1976.
Lockheed, Allan H. (1889-1969). Made first dual-pilot controlled flight. Founded three airplane manufacturing firms and was consultant to namesake company. 1986.
Loening, Grover C. (1888-1976). Developed new amphibian airplanes with retractable landing gear. Received Collier Trophy in 1921 for development of "Aerial Yacht." Furthered the utility of aircraft and helicopters. 1969.
Luke, Frank, Jr. (1897-1918). Showed courage and skill as pursuit pilot and skill in development of new tactical combat maneuvers. Was America's second leading ace of World War I. 1975.
MacCready, Paul B., Jr. (born 1925). Aerospace designer and glider pilot. Pioneered the concept of high-altitude wave soaring. First American to win the World Soaring Championship. Designed and built Gossamer Condor, the first sustained, controlled human-powered plane. 1991.
Macready, John A. (1887-1979). As early test pilot, participated in first nonstop transcontinental flight in Fokker T-2. Won three consecutive Mackay Trophies. Pioneered high-altitude flight. 1968.
Martin, Glenn L. (1886-1955). Made important advances in aircraft design. Manufactured such aircraft as MB-1, B-10, B-26, and Matador and Mace missiles. 1966.
McCampbell, David (1910-1996). Served in World War II. Commander of Air Group 15 ("Fabled Fifteen") aboard USS Essex. Destroyed 34 airborne enemy planes, becoming the Navy's "Ace of Aces." Received Medal of Honor, among other honors. Commanded USS Severn and USS Bon Homme Richard. 1996.
McDonnell, James S. (1899-1980). Advanced military aircraft design in F3H, F-101, F-4, F-15, AV-8B, and F/A-18. Did pioneering work in space technology with the Mercury and Gemini spacecraft. Developed such commercial aircraft as the DC-9 and DC-10. 1977.
Meyer, John C. (1919-1975). Demonstrated extraordinary courage and skill as fighter pilot in World War II and Korea. Was seventh leading Air Force ace of all time. Commanded Twelfth Air Force. Was Air Force vice chief of staff and commander in chief of Strategic Air Command. 1988.
Mitchell, William "Billy" (1879-1936). Developed early theories of airpower. Demonstrated concept of strategic bombing by sinking obsolete German battleship Ostfriesland. Defined roles and missions for an independent Air Force. 1966.
Mitscher, Marc A. (1887-1947). Attempted to be first pilot to cross the Atlantic. Commanded USS Hornet (the carrier that launched Doolittle's 1942 raid on Japan). Participated in the Battle of Midway. Commanded Task Force 58 during World War II in the Pacific. 1989.
Montgomery, John J. (1858-1911). Researched the nature of laws of flight. Constructed and tested a series of early gliders without flight-control systems. Made public demonstrations of gliders. 1964.
Moorer, Thomas H. (born 1912). Was naval aviator during World War II. Commanded both Pacific and Atlantic Fleets. Served as Chief of Naval Operations from 1967 to 1970 and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff from 1970 to 1974. 1987.
Moss, Sanford A. (1872-1946). Studied and demonstrated gas turbine engines and developed aircraft turbosuperchargers while working for General Electric. 1976.
Neumann, Gerhard (born 1917). Served as mechanic with American Volunteer Group in China. Technical expert in development of variable stator compressor system for jet engines. Led development of J79 engine while working for General Electric. 1986.
Nichols, Ruth Rowland. (1901-1960). Aviatrix and aerospace executive. First licensed female seaplane pilot. First to fly nonstop from New York, N. Y., to Miami, Fla. Co-founder of the women's flying group the "Ninety-Nines." Only woman to hold three maximum international records. "First woman" in nearly 30 categories. 1992.
Norden, Carl L. (1880-1965). Aerospace designer. Developed the Norden bombsight, designed to drop bombs from an aircraft and hit targets on land or sea. 1994.
Northrop, John K. (1895-1981). Demonstrated originality and ingenuity in aircraft construction and design, especially in "flying wing" designs in use today. Produced such aircraft as the P-61, F-89, X-4, and America's first rocket plane, the MX-324. Developed such missiles as the Snark. 1974.
Pangborn, Clyde E. (1894-1958). Barnstormer. Formed the famous "Gates Flying Circus." Made first nonstop transpacific flight (with Hugh Herndon, Jr.). Formed the Ferry Command of the Royal Air Force during World War II. 1995.
Patterson, William A. (1899-1980). Demonstrated professionalism in airline development, innovations in passenger service, and concern for employees in numerous official capacities at United Airlines. 1976.
Piper, William T., Sr. (1881-1970). Developed, produced, and marketed such lightplanes as Cub, Tripacer, and Cherokee for general aviation use. Promoted their application to a wide variety of commercial and military uses. 1980.
Pitcairn, Harold F. (1897-1960). Aerospace executive and designer. Formed Pitcairn Aviation. Designed and built the PA-5 Mailwing to carry mail from New York, N. Y., to Atlanta, Ga. Brought the autogiro to the US and made it the safest aircraft flown in this country. 1995.
Post, Wiley H. (1898-1935). Performed flights around the world in Lockheed Vega Winnie Mae, demonstrating the practicality of new flight-related equipment. Conceived and proved feasibility of fully pressurized flying suit, which led to discovery of the jetstream. He and Will Rogers were killed in a crash near Point Barrow, Alaska. 1969.
Read, Albert C. (1887-1967). Was naval aviator and commander of NC-4 on first successful transatlantic flight in 1919. Pioneer of naval aviation. 1965.
Reeve, Robert C. (1902-1980). As a barnstormer, airmail pilot, and bush pilot, played a vital role in demonstrating uses of the airplane in the economic, social, and cultural environment of Alaska. 1975.
Rentschler, Frederick B. (1887-1956). Helped establish Pratt & Whitney, United Airlines, Sikorsky Helicopters, and Hamilton Standard, which developed controllable propellers. 1982.
Richardson, Holden C. (1878-1960). Was naval aviator who conceived, developed, and demonstrated water- and ship-based aircraft and such devices as the turntable catapult for capital ships. 1978.
Rickenbacker, Edward V. (1890-1973). Combat pilot and leading American ace of World War I. Managed several airlines, including Eastern. Assisted in the growth of modern commercial aviation. 1965.
Rodgers, Calbraith P. (1879-1912). Made first flight across the United States in Wright EX Vin Fiz in 1911, surviving many hardships and crashes. 1964.
Rogers, Will (1879-1935). Demonstrated public support of aviation for defense and transportation. He and Wiley Post were killed in an airplane crash near Point Barrow, Alaska. 1977.
Rushworth, Robert A. (1924-1993). USAF general and military aviator. Test-flew a variety of planes. Second USAF X-15 pilot to attain the astronaut rating. Led major test programs, including the F-5, A-10, F-15, YF-16, and B-1. 1990.
Rutan, Elbert L. (born 1943). Aerospace executive and designer. Invented Voyager--first plane to fly nonstop around the world without refueling. 1995.
Ryan, T. Claude (1898-1982). Developed significantly advanced aircraft, such as M-1, PT-22, X-13, and Firebee drone. Trained critically needed pilots during World War II. Developed electronic space-navigation systems that helped make it possible for humans to land on the moon. 1974.
Schirra, Walter M. "Wally", Jr. (born 1923). Was Navy fighter and test pilot and the only astronaut to fly in Mercury (Mercury-Atlas 8), Gemini (Gemini 6), and Apollo (Apollo 7) spacecraft. 1986.
Schriever, Bernard A. (born 1910). Was Air Force test pilot and leader of USAF's research and development and ballistic missile and military space programs. Adapted those technologies to the nation's efforts to explore space. 1980.
Selfridge, Thomas E. (1882-1908). Designed and developed airplanes and made pioneering flights. First Army officer to fly; first fatality of powered flight, killed while a passenger in an aircraft flown by Orville Wright. 1965.
Shepard, Alan B., Jr. (born 1923). Was Navy test pilot and first US astronaut launched into space. Commanded Apollo 14. Was fifth man to walk on the moon. 1977.
Sikorsky, Igor I. (1889-1972). Developed large multiengine aircraft, including flying boats used in commercial transoceanic flights. Developed single-rotor helicopter, of which VS-300 was the first successful example. 1968.
Six, Robert F. (1907-1986). Developed regional airline that became Continental. Expanded it to serve both national and international routes. 1980.
Slayton, Donald K. (1924-1993). Astronaut and test pilot. One of the original Mercury 7 astronauts. Member of the Apollo-Soyuz Test Project. First chief of the Astronaut Office and served as the director of Flight Crew Operations, directing all astronaut activities. Served as the manager of the Space Shuttle Approach and Landing Test program from 1975 to 1977. Managed the Shuttle Orbital Flight Test program until his retirement in 1982. 1996.
Smith, C. R. (1899-1990). Developed domestic air transportation as president of American Airlines. Organized Army Air Forces Air Transport Command. Expanded international aviation. Was National President of Air Force Association. 1974.
Spaatz, Carl A. "Tooey" (1891-1974). Was pilot attached to Gen. John J. Pershing's 1916 expedition to Mexico. Won three aerial victories in World War I. Commanded Question Mark endurance flight. Commanded Eighth Air Force, Twelfth Air Force, and US Strategic Forces in Europe during World War II. USAF's first Chief of Staff, from 1947 to 1948. Was first Board Chairman of Air Force Association. 1967.
Sperry, Elmer A., Sr. (1860-1930). Developed gyroscopic instruments, such as the turn-and-bank indicator and artificial horizon, gyroscopic bombsight, and antiaircraft searchlight. Was 1930 inventor of automatic pilot system that kept an airplane on a prescribed flight path. 1973.
Sperry, Lawrence B., Sr. (1892-1923). Pioneered development of automatic flight stabilizers, flight instruments, including the side-slip indicator and optical drift indicator, guided missiles, and such innovative aircraft as the R-3 and Messenger. 1981.
Stanley, Robert M. (1912-1977). Engineer and aviator. Pioneered development of aircraft and survival systems. Formed Stanley Aviation Corp. Developed USAF's first downward ejection seats and the automatic-release lap belts. Invented the Yankee extraction escape system. 1990.
Stapp, John Paul (born 1910). Specialized in aerospace medicine. Proved that human bodies can withstand forces associated with ejecting from aircraft at high speeds and high altitudes. Promoted automobile seat belts. 1985.
Stearman, Lloyd C. (1898-1975). Founded company that produced C-1, C-2, C-2C, C-2M, and PT-9. As president of Lockheed, oversaw design of Electra and development of Constellation. Stearman Division of Boeing produced the World War II PT-17 trainer. 1989.
Taylor, Charles E. (1868-1956). Built first successful airplane engine for the Wright brothers. Maintained such early airplanes as Wright Military Flyer and Wright EX for their historic flights. 1965.
Thomas, Lowell (1892-1981). Aviation promoter and enthusiast. Author and radio and TV personality. 1992.
Tibbets, Paul W., Jr. (born 1915). Military aviator and aerospace executive. Piloted the Enola Gay, the B-29 that dropped the atomic bomb on Hiroshima on August 6, 1945. Technical advisor for Operation Crossroads project, the atom bomb tests at Bikini Atoll. President of Executive Jet Aviation, Inc., an all-jet, air-taxi company, from 1976 to 1986. 1996.
Towers, John H. (1885-1955). Made first attempt to cross Atlantic in NC-3. Established first Naval Air Station at Pensacola, Fla. Commanded USS Langley and USS Saratoga. Fought for recognition of airpower as a vital part of naval doctrine. 1966.
Trippe, Juan T. (1899-1981). Developed basic principles of airline operation and pioneered international commercial aviation as head of Pan American Airways. 1970.
Turner, Roscoe (1895-1970). Participated in early commercial aviation and air races leading to important technical advancement in design and performance of high-speed aircraft and engines. 1975.
Twining, Nathan F. (1897-1982). Commanded Thirteenth and Fifteenth Air Forces during World War II. Directed final Twentieth Air Force operations against Japan. Commanded Air Materiel Command and Alaskan Air Command. Air Force Chief of Staff from 1953 to 1957. First Air Force general to be Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, from 1957 to 1960. 1976.
Vandenberg, Hoyt S. (1899-1954). USAF general and military aviator. Served in a number of high-level positions in World War II, including command of Ninth Air Force. Helped plan the Normandy invasion. Air Force Chief of Staff from 1948 to 1953. 1991.
von Braun, Wernher (1912-1977). Developed rocket-powered ballistic missiles, satellites, space probes, and Earth-orbiting and lunar spacecraft that made up US manned space program. 1982.
von Kármán, Theodore (1881-1963). Developed theoretical studies and practical applications of aerodynamics to improve aircraft performance. Developed rocketry in creating intercontinental ballistic missiles. 1983.
von Ohain, Hans P. (born 1911). Aerospace scientist. Conceived the idea for jet propulsion. Designed and produced a successful liquid-fueled engine. Chief scientist of USAF's Aerospace Research Laboratories from 1963 to 1975 and chief scientist, Aero Propulsion Laboratory, from 1975 to 1979. 1990.
Vought, Chance M. (1890-1930). Designed VE-7, first airplane to land on USS Langley (the Navy's first aircraft carrier), the OU-1 (the Navy's first aircraft to be catapult-launched), and F4U Corsair of World War II. Started what became LTV, which built the F-8 and the A-7 jet aircraft. 1989.
Wade, Leigh (1896-1991). Flight-tested and achieved record-setting performances with new and improved aircraft and equipment. Participated in 1924 round-the-world flight. 1974.
Walden, Henry W. (1883-1964). Conceived, built, and demonstrated manned flight in the first successful monoplane in the United States. 1964.
Wells, Edward C. (1910-1986). Aerospace designer. Served as chief engineer, vice president, and general manager at Boeing. Under his direction, Boeing won the first-phase development contract for the X-20 Dyna-Soar and the assembly and test of the Air Force Minuteman. Directed the design development of the Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress, B-29 Superfortress, and other jet transport aircraft. 1991.
Wilson, Thornton A. (born 1921). Developed many Boeing aircraft and missiles. Led the planning, development, and production of such jetliners as the 707, 727, 737, and 747. 1983.
Woolman, Collett Everman "C. E." (1889-1966). Airline executive. Proved that aerial application was a highly effective weapon against agricultural pests. Ran the world's first aerial crop dusting company, which evolved into Delta Airlines. 1994.
Wright, Orville (1871-1948). Co-invented first successful man-carrying airplane. Became the first person to fly an airplane that achieved controlled, powered flight. Unlocked the secret of powered flight. 1962.
Wright, Wilbur (1867-1912). Co-invented first successful man-carrying airplane. Showed unfailing devotion to the task of unlocking the secret of powered flight. 1962.
Yeager, Charles E. (born 1923). Recorded 13 aerial victories in World War II. Conducted test flights that led to supersonic flight in the X-1. Contributed to aerospace research and safety. 1973.
Young, John W. (born 1930). Was first astronaut to go into space six times (Gemini 3, Gemini 10, Apollo 10, Apollo 16, STS-1, and STS-9). Honored as leader of the US space program. 1988.
Daily Report: Read the day's top news on the US Air Force, airpower, and national security issues.
Daily Report: Read the day's top news on the US Air Force, airpower, and national security issues.
Read the day's top news on the US Air Force, airpower, and national security issues.
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