Press Release

World’s Most Prestigious Air & Space Hall of Fame Inducts Distinguished Class of 2015 on November 19

Boeing, General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc., PSA Founders, EAA and other aviation and space legends rendezvousing at San Diego’s Air & Space Museum for annual celebration.

MEDIA: Media interested in covering the 2015 Hall of Fame Gala can RSVP to David Neville at dneville@sdasm.org or by calling (619-234-8291 x140)

San Diego, CA - Alan Mulally, former executive vice president of Boeing and CEO of Boeing Commercial Airplanes, and Tom Cassidy, RADM, USN (Ret.) and Frank Pace from San Diego-based General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. (GA-ASI), are among the honorees being enshrined during this year’s International Air & Space Hall of Fame Induction Celebration.

Join the San Diego Air & Space Museum in celebrating the honorees on Thursday, November 19, 2015, in the Museum’s Pavilion of Flight. Guests from around the world are assembling for a spectacular evening of fun and extraordinary recognition, as each attendee is offered an experiential peek into the lives of these air and space legends. Since 1963 the International Air & Space Hall of Fame has honored more than 200 of the world’s most significant pilots, crew members, visionaries, inventors, aerospace engineers, business leaders, preservationists, designers and space pioneers.

The Distinguished Class of 2015 includes: Alan Mulally, contributor on every Boeing commercial aircraft from the 727 through the 787; Bill Chana, flight test engineer for Convair and developer of “the world’s smallest plane,” the Wee Bee; Tom Cassidy, RADM, USN (Ret.) & Frank Pace, leaders of San Diego-based General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. (GA-ASI), a defense industry leader in UAVs; Bob Ferry, Lt. Col., USAF (Ret.), a profound contributor to helicopter flight testing, including the Apache AH-64; Fred Trapnell, Vice Adm., USN (Ret.); the first US Navy pilot to fly jet aircraft and considered the most experience naval test aviator of his generation; the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) & The EAA Young Eagles, an international organization that has provided first flights for more than 1.9 million children; Kenneth Friedkin, founder of iconic San Diego Airline, Pacific Southwest; and Texas Congressman Sam Johnson, Col., USAF (Ret.), a decorated war hero and 29-year veteran of the U.S. Air Force.

The honorees are selected for their qualitative achievements and historic contributions to aviation, space and aerospace innovation or expanding the public’s aviation and space awareness to the world. Their contributions are prime examples of endurance and the adventurous exploring spirit in the pursuit of knowledge and scientific advancement.

“We’re especially pleased to honor this exemplary Class of 2015 because these pioneers have not only made significant contributions in air and space exploration, they’ve also become strong positive role models for today’s youth,” said Jim Kidrick, President & CEO of the San Diego Air & Space Museum. “Aviation and space exploration, as embodied by the honorees in the International Air & Space Hall of Fame, is a metaphor for the human pioneering spirit. November 19 is THE evening of the year every guest will remember for the rest of their lives. We honor these legends on behalf of San Diegans, and really everyone in the world. People come from all over the globe to be at this celebration.”

The International Air & Space Hall of Fame is the most prestigious induction in the world and is composed of hundreds of air and space pioneers, engineers, inventors and innovators, along with adventurers, scientists and industry leaders. NASA Mercury, Gemini and Apollo astronauts and Russian cosmonauts are honored in the Hall of Fame, plus famous legends such as the Wright brothers, Charles Lindbergh and Chuck Yeager. Notable inductees include Igor Sikorsky, Wernher von Braun, Jack Northrop, William Boeing, Sr., Reuben H. Fleet, Glenn Curtiss, Walter Zable Sr., Fran Bera, Wally Schirra, Bill Anders, Jim Lovell, T. Claude Ryan, Jimmy Doolittle, Frederick Rohr, Waldo Waterman, Bob Hoover, Harrison Ford, Patty Wagstaff, the NBAA, and many others. See the following link: http://sandiegoairandspace.org/exhibits/online-exhibit-page/international-air-space-hall-of-fame.

“Inspiring kids to undertake tough science and engineering challenges is only the first step,” Kidrick said. “We must also give them the resources they need to complete science education degrees.”

Proceeds from the evening benefit the Museum’s youth education programs.

The Class of 2015:

Alan Mulally

Alan R. Mulally joined Boeing in 1969 and progressed through a number of significant engineering and program-management assignments, including contributions on every Boeing commercial airplane from the 727 through the 787.

Bill Chana

William F. Chana was involved with many key aeronautical projects during his lifetime, including during World War II when he worked as a flight test engineer on numerous Convair aircraft. He later gained fame as the developer and test pilot of “the world’s smallest plane,” the Wee Bee.

Tom Cassidy, RADM, USN (Ret.) & Frank Pace

Under the leadership of Thomas J. Cassidy, Jr. RADM, USN (Ret.) and Frank S. Pace, San Diego-based General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. (GA-ASI) took bold steps in the field of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles and is now in the top tier of a short list of contractors building defense industry remotely piloted vehicles.

Bob Ferry, Lt. Col., USAF (Ret.)

Although Robert G. Ferry, Lt. Col., USAF (Ret.), began his career as a fighter pilot, he became an expert in helicopters, where he made profound contributions in 24 years of flight testing, including on the still widely used Apache AH-64 helicopter.

Fred Trapnell, Vice Adm., USN (Ret.)

Frederick M. Trapnell, Vice Adm., USN (Ret.) was the first US Navy pilot to fly a jet aircraft. He was considered the best, most experienced naval test aviator of his generation and co-founded the Navy’s first test pilot school.

Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) & The EAA Young Eagles

Founded in 1953, the EAA has grown from a handful of home-built aviation enthusiasts to an international aviation organization. The Young Eagles program has provided first flights for more than 1.9 million children. Accepting of behalf of the EAA is Chairman of the Board Jack Pelton and on behalf of the Young Eagles is Honorary Chairman Sean D. Tucker.

Kenneth Friedkin, PSA Founder

Kenneth (Kenny) Giles Friedkin was an American aviator and businessman. He obtained his pilot license at the age of 17. As a pilot and instructor, Friedkin opened a flight school in 1945, called the Plosser-Friedkin School (later named the Friedkin School of Aeronautics). Pacific Southwest Airlines was created by Kenneth and his wife Jean in 1949. Their experience and background led to PSA’s success.

Texas Congressman Sam Johnson, Col., USAF (Ret.)

A decorated war hero and native Texan, Sam Johnson, Col., USAF, (Ret.) ranks among the few Members of Congress to fight in combat. During his 29-year career in the U.S. Air Force, Representative Johnson flew combat missions in both the Korea and Vietnam. He endured nearly seven years as a Prisoner of War in Hanoi.

More than 500 regional, national, and international business, air and space leaders are anticipated to attend the 2015 International Air & Space Hall of Fame Gala, including prominent representatives from the Boeing, Ford, General Atomics, former employees from PSA, the Experimental Aircraft Association & The Young Eagles, as well as numerous living honorees.

###

The San Diego Air & Space Museum is California’s official air and space museum and education center. The Museum is an affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution and it was the first aero-themed Museum to be accredited by the American Alliance of Museums. Now showing: Da Vinci: The Ultimate Innovator, a special exhibition showcasing more than 90 robotics, machines and artworks from the greatest inventor of all time. The Museum is located at 2001 Pan American Plaza, Balboa Park, San Diego, CA 92101. The Museum and gift store are open daily from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. with admissions until 4:30 p.m. Closed Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day.

San Diego Air & Space Museum

Subscribe to our E-Newsletter

Get Social with SDASM