Since 1963, the International Air & Space Hall of Fame at the San Diego Air & Space Museum in Balboa Park has honored the world’s most significant Legends of Flight, including pilots, astronauts, crew members, visionaries, inventors, aerospace engineers, business leaders, preservationists, designers and space explorers. Famous aviators such as the Wright Brothers, Charles Lindbergh, Neil Armstrong and Amelia Earhart are honored in the hall, as well as NASA Mercury, Gemini and Apollo astronauts and luminaries who changed the world forever through their adventurous spirit.
Notable other inductees also include Buzz Aldrin, Chuck Yeager, Igor Sikorsky, Wernher von Braun, Jack Northrop, Jackie Cochran, William Boeing, Sr., Reuben H. Fleet, Glenn Curtiss, Walter Zable Sr., Fran Bera, Wally Schirra, Bill Anders, Jim Lovell, T. Claude Ryan, Harrison Ford, Jimmy Doolittle, Bob Hoover, Ellen Ochoa, Peggy Whitson, Linden Blue, Patty Wagstaff, and many, many more.
This year, more than 600 guests were on hand at the San Diego Air & Space Museum to witness the induction of the Distinguished Class of 2019 into the hall. The 2019 class is a who’s-who of air and space pioneers and visionaries, and included Jeff Bezos, founder of aerospace company Blue Origin; Hawley Bowlus, American engineer, designer and aircraft builder and icon of the Golden Age of Flight; and Dr. Vance Coffman, retired chairman of Lockheed Martin Corporation and the man responsible for the Hubble Space Telescope and other critical space innovations. One of the highlights of this year’s Hall of Fame Gala was the induction of 97-year-old Lt. Col. David Hamilton, the last surviving Pathfinder Pilot who dropped paratroopers into Normandy in advance of the allied invasion on D-Day.
Other 2019 honorees included Joan Sullivan Garrett, founder of MedAire, the leading global provider of integrated safety solutions where remote medical care is in high demand; Robert J. Gilliland, the first man to fly the SR-71 Blackbird and test-pilot for every Blackbird that came off the production line (including one that Gilliland flew which sits proudly in front of the Museum’s location in Balboa Park.). Dick Gordon, Capt., USN, Ret., American Naval Aviator and Command Module Pilot of Apollo 12, the second manned mission to land on the Moon also entered the hall this year, where he was joined by Dr. Robert H. Liebeck, a world-renowned authority on aerodynamics, hydrodynamics and aircraft design
“The International Air & Space Hall of Fame is the most prestigious of its kind in the world,” Jim Kidrick, President & CEO of the San Diego Air & Space Museum shared with GB Magazine. “The Hall is always one of the highlights of any visit to the San Diego Air & Museum.”
To learn more about the world’s greatest air and space adventurers in the International Air & Space Hall of Fame, visit: www.sandiegoairandspace.org