#NBAA13: National Aviation Hall of Fame presents Combs Gates Award

LAS VEGAS — The National Aviation Hall of Fame presented its annual Combs Gates Award to aviation artist Mike Machat during the National Business Aviation Association Convention.

NAHF Chairman Phil Roberts presented Machat with a $20,000 cash award for his mural of iconic Douglas airliners built in Southern California that is on display in the Santa Monica Museum of Flying.

“I wanted to pay tribute to the life and career and vision of Donald Wills Douglas,” said Machat in his acceptance speech. “I am truly honored and humbled to receive this award.”

Mike_Machat_Mural_PortraitThe ceremony featured Machat accepting a ceremonial check and having his photo taken with a group of distinguished guests including famed aviator R.A. “Bob” Hoover, world record holder and executive aviation pioneer Clay Lacy and Apollo 17 astronaut Gene Cernan.

Also participating in the event was air show legend Sean D. Tucker. NAHF Enshrinement Director Ron Kaplan led the ceremony.

NBAA and the NAHF have a long history with the award, which is named after two business aviation legends — Harry Combs and Charles Gates. The award has been presented at the NBAA Convention since 2003.

Machat’s award-winning mural depicts 10 iconic aircraft built by Douglas, from the pioneering DC-1 commercial aircraft prototype to the final DC-10 widebody trijet.

“Douglas brought us the machines that gave us the modern transportation system that we enjoy and almost take for granted today,” the artist added. 

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