EAA AVIATION CENTER, OSHKOSH, Wisconsin — The Experimental Aircraft Association recognized the contributions made to the world of flight by five people as they were inducted into the EAA Sport Aviation Halls of Fame Nov. 8, 2018.
- EAA Homebuilders Hall of Fame: Darryl Murphy of Chilliwack, British Columbia
- International Aerobatic Club Hall of Fame: Thomas Adams Jr. of Brenham, Texas
- Warbirds of America Hall of Fame: Jack Roush of Livonia, Michigan
- EAA Ultralights Hall of Fame: Eugene Smith (posthumous)
- Vintage Aircraft Association Hall of Fame: Ron Alexander (posthumous)
The EAA Sport Aviation Halls of Fame were established to honor the outstanding achievements of men and women in aviation who share the spirit of EAA and its community, according to association officials.
Those inducted into the halls of fame are selected by their peers for myriad contributions made to their respective areas of aviation.
In addition, Ken Kellner of Neenah, Wisconsin, received the Henry Kimberly Spirit of Leadership Award for his efforts on behalf of EAA and the local community.
Kellner has flown as a volunteer pilot at EAA’s Pioneer Airport for 20 years and has flown more than 2,600 young people as part of the EAA Young Eagles program.
EAA Halls Of Fame 2018 Inductees
HOMEBUILDERS HALL OF FAME
Darryl Murphy: Murphy got his start in the late 1970s by designing and building a rigid-wing hang glider, a rarity at that time. His first powered aircraft design, a single-seat biplane, first flew in 1984. Using innovative construction techniques, he upgraded his designs and founded Murphy Aircraft in 1985.
His subsequent designs included such notable aircraft as the Renegade biplane series, the all-aluminum Rebel, the Maverick, the Elite, and the sturdy Moose bushplane.
Along with the aircraft designs, Murphy aircraft were the first to use the venerable Rotax 914 engine, and Murphy also designed a series of amphibious floats as well as wheels and brakes.
VINTAGE AIRCRAFT ASSOCIATION HALL OF FAME
Ron Alexander (posthumous): Alexander began restoring antique aircraft in the mid-1970s. He quickly branched out, as his Alexander Aeroplane Company became a major supplier of materials for both aircraft restorers and builders.
In 1993, Alexander created a series of hands-on workshops where people could experience and learn the necessary skills to build and restore aircraft, which eventually became the EAA SportAir Workshop series, which each year welcomes thousands of aviation enthusiasts at sites nationwide.
Before his death in November 2016, Alexander led the development of the Peach State Aerodrome and Candler Field Museum in Williamson, Georgia. This facility preserves history by recreating the old Atlanta airport as it existed in the 1920s and 1930s, and has extensive youth programming to inspire young people in aviation.
INTERNATIONAL AEROBATIC CLUB HALL OF FAME
Tom Adams: Adams has excelled in competition aerobatics flying, judging, and instructing. His aerobatic career began with a self-built Pitts S-1C in regional IAC contests. He has earned multiple competition awards, and is highly regarded as a judge after serving in that role for more than 200 contests.
Adams also served on the IAC board of directors for more than 28 years and continues to serve as a judge at the annual U.S. National Aerobatic Championships.
Adams retired as a captain on the 747-400 after logging time in more than 100 different aircraft types.
ULTRALIGHTS HALL OF FAME
Eugene Smith (posthumous): Smith, a Missouri native, earned a mechanical engineering degree and eventually started a flight training and crop-dusting operation while also owning a farm in Missouri. His gift and passion for mechanical design and innovation led him in 1998 to start Valley Engineering with his son, Larry. That company designed the popular Back Yard Flyer ultralight.
Smith also created more than 20 other aircraft. In 2001, he acquired Culver Props, and his two businesses have long supplied the ultralight and light-sport aircraft communities with complete aircraft, as well as components such as reduction drive systems, engines, and propellers. He died in December 2016.
WARBIRDS OF AMERICA HALL OF FAME
Jack Roush: Best known as a championship NASCAR team owner, Roush has made major contributions to the preservation of warbirds everywhere. His passion began with restoring his own P-51 Mustang that led to the creation of Roush Aviation, an FAA Certificated Repair Station that specializes in restoring Warbird Merlin engines while introducing new technology.
He is perhaps best known for the restorations of the P-51 Mustangs named Old Crow in honor of World War II triple ace Clarence “Bud” Anderson.