The National Aviation Hall of Fame (NAHF) has revealed the names of six individuals who have been elected for enshrinement in 2014. The six will join a roster of 219 men and women air and space pioneers who have been inducted by the NAHF since its founding in 1962.
The names and photos of the incoming Enshrinee Class of 2014 were unveiled at a dinner hosted by Dayton-based Aviation Trail, Inc. ( ATI ) in celebration of the 110th Anniversary of the Wright Brothers’ historic first powered flight, Dec. 17, 1903.
Each year, the NAHF Board of Nominations, a voting body comprised of over 120 aviation professionals nationwide, selects a handful of U.S. air and space pioneers to be recognized for their achievements by enshrinement into the NAHF. The NAHF Class of 2014 is a diverse group representing a broad range of significant contributions to the advancement of flight.
The six to be formally enshrined on October 4, 2014, are:
The late Bertrand “Bert” B. Acosta: Built and flew his first airplane in 1910, and soon became one of America’s first test pilots and the first aviator commissioned into both the Army Air Service and the U.S. Navy. Also a mechanic, flight instructor, and aeronautical engineer, Acosta consulted to aircraft companies worldwide and set numerous national and world flight records.
Alan and Dale Klapmeier: Alan and his younger brother, Dale, founded Cirrus Design in 1984 to fulfill their dream of manufacturing a certified airplane of their own design. Within 20 years Cirrus earned its position as the dominant market leader in high performance, single-engine, four-place airplanes. The Klapmeiers’ piston-powered designs feature state-of-the-art design and technologies, including glass panel cockpits, composite construction, and whole plane parachute systems, revolutionizing the general aircraft industry. Today, Alan serves as President and CEO of Kestrel Aircraft Company and Dale as CEO of Cirrus Design.
Brig. Gen. James A. McDivitt, USAF (Ret): After flying 145 combat missions over Korea as an Air Force fighter pilot, McDivitt earned a degree in aeronautical engineering and served as a test pilot at Edwards Air Force Base. Selected as an astronaut in 1962, he served as Command Pilot for Gemini 4 and Command Pilot for Apollo 9, eventually managing the Apollo Spacecraft Program for NASA.
Emily Howell Warner: Warner was an experienced Colorado flight school manager, flight instructor and FAA designated flight examiner holding multiple ratings when she was hired by Frontier Airlines in 1973, earning her additional distinction as the first female captain of a scheduled, jet-equipped U.S. airline. She amassed more than 21,000 flight hours over her career.
The late Sylvester “Steve” J. Wittman: Learned to fly and built his first airplane in 1924, and competed in his first air race in 1926. Wittman managed the Oshkosh, Wisconsin airport, and operated an FBO and flight school there while continuing to design, construct and fly innovative aircraft, his homebuilt kit plans selling in the thousands. His final air race was in 1989, at age 85.
The enshrinement dinner and ceremony will take place on Saturday, Oct. 4, 2014 at the National Aviation Hall of Fame Learning Center and the adjacent National Museum of the United States Air Force in Dayton, Ohio. Often referred to as “America’s Oscar Night of Aviation,” the black-tie ceremony is open to the public and reservations are available by advance purchase from the NAHF.
The NAHF is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization founded in Dayton in 1962 and chartered by the U.S. Congress in 1964. Its mission is to honor America’s outstanding air and space pioneers, which it does through a 17,000 square-foot public Learning Center featuring interactive exhibits, a youth education program, its annual enshrinement ceremony, public outreach programs, and collaboration with like-minded organizations.
For more information: NationalAviation.org