The National Aviation Hall of Fame (NAHF) has revealed the names of the four individuals elected as the Enshrinee Class of 2017.
The Class of 2017 is:
Maj. Gen. Charles Bolden, Jr., USMC (Ret), whose 34-year Marine Corps aviation career included 14 years as member of NASA Astronaut Corps. Vietnam War fighter pilot and four-time Shuttle veteran who went on to become NASA Administrator.
The late Cmdr. Malcolm Scott Carpenter, USN – The Navy test pilot was one of the original Mercury 7 astronauts and became the second American to orbit the earth. He helped design the Apollo lunar module and developed underwater training for spacewalks.
Robert J. Gilliland –An Air Force jet fighter and test pilot personally recruited by Kelly Johnson to lead Lockheed Skunk Works testing of its record-breaking SR-71 spy plane. He has logged more test-flight hours above Mach 3 than any other pilot.
The late Sir Frank Whittle – The U.K.-based “Founder of the Jet Age,” who built the first practical turbojet engine in 1937. Sir Whittle’s subsequent engine technology led directly to development of the jet aircraft industry in the U.S., to which Sir Whittle immigrated in 1976.
Each year, the NAHF Board of Nominations, a voting body comprised of 140-plus aviation professionals nationwide, selects a handful of previously nominated air and space pioneers to be recognized for their achievements with enshrinement into the NAHF. Since its founding in 1962, 233 men and women have been honored.
The NAHF is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization founded in Dayton, Ohio, in 1962 and chartered by the U.S. Congress in 1964. Its mission is to honor America’s aerospace legends to inspire future leaders, which it does through a 17,000 square-foot public Learning Center featuring interactive exhibits, a youth education program, other public outreach programs, its annual enshrinement ceremony, and collaboration with like-minded organizations.