Press Release

Legends of Flight Landed in San Diego November 1st for World's Most Prestigious Hall of Fame and Honoring

From L to R, Museum President & CEO Jim Kidrick, Garry Ridge (WD-40 Company), Joe Engle, Fitz Fulton, Pat Prentiss (The 99's), Roger Schaufele, Gigi Coleman (Bessie Coleman), Brad Bernard (Boeing) and Jack Dailey.

San Diego, CA - November 4, 2014 - The International Air & Space Hall of Fame Induction Celebration inducted its Distinguished Class of 2014 on Saturday, November 1, 2014, in the San Diego Air & Space Museum’s Pavilion of Flight. Guests from around the world joined the honorees for a spectacular evening of fun and extraordinary recognition, as each attendee was 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 aviation pilots, crew members, visionaries, inventors, aerospace engineers, business leaders, preservationists, designers and space pioneers.

This year’s Distinguished Class of 2014: Joe Engle, astronaut, space shuttle commander and famed X-15 rocket plane test pilot; Fitz Fulton, test pilot on the XB-70 Supersonic Bomber/B-58 Hustler, Blackbird pilot, considered one of the greatest test pilots of all time; Bill Boeing, Jr., influential preservationist of air and space history; retired Marine General and aviator John (Jack) R. Dailey, director of the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum; The Ninety-Nines, international women pilot fraternity whose first President was Amelia Earhart; WD-40, created in San Diego, that played a significant role in the quest to protect the Atlas Rocket, a world renowned name in lubricants; Roger Schaufele, innovative aircraft engineer and designer and Bessie Coleman, first African American woman to earn her pilot’s license.

Each honoree or event is selected for their qualitative achievements and historic contributions to aviation, space or aerospace innovation or expanding the public's aviation and space awareness to the world. Their individual contributions are prime examples of endurance and the adventurous exploring spirit in the pursuit of knowledge and scientific advancement to benefit the world.

The International Air & Space Hall of Fame is the most prestigious induction in the world and composed of hundreds of air and space pilots, 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 flying pioneers 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 and many others. See the following link: Online Hall of Fame Exhibit.

Don Wildman, Host of the Travel Channel's Mysteries at the Museum was this year's guest speaker. He spoke of the significance of museums and the risk-takers in history.

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

The Class of 2014:

Joe Engle: Air Force Major General Joe Engle is retired from the Air National Guard, the United States Air Force, and the NASA Astronaut program. During his career, he flew 16 research flights in the famed X-15 rocket plane in the 1960s and went on to fly the prototype space shuttle Enterprise during the Approach and Landing Tests and two orbital space shuttle missions. General Engle has flown over 185 different types of aircraft including 38 different fighter and attack aircraft. He has logged more than 14,700 flight hours – 9,900 in jets and over 224 hours in space. His military decorations include two Distinguished Service Medals and the Air Force Distinguished Flying Cross with Oak Leaf Cluster. He is currently an engineering consultant and technical advisor on space vehicles and space operations and is serving as Technical Advisor to NASA’s International Space Station Advisory Committee.

Joe Engle greeted on-stage by friend and former Honoree Harry Robertson (L) and wife Jeanie.

Fitz Fulton: After 23 years of service as a pilot in the United States Air Force, Lieutenant Colonel Fitzhugh L. "Fitz" Fulton Jr. retired as a civilian research pilot from NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center in Edwards, California. While in the service, Fitz flew in the Berlin Airlift and Korean War, tested the Air Force's newest bombers, launched every 'X-Plane' from the X-1 to the X-15 and tested the Mach 2 B-58 Hustler and triplesonic XB-70 Valkyrie. After retiring from the Air Force, he flew for NASA piloting aircraft such as the YF-12 (later the SR-71) Blackbird and 747 Shuttle Carrier Aircraft, and after leaving NASA, he became a test pilot for Burt Rutan's Scaled Composites. Fulton is the recipient of numerous aviation awards, including four Distinguished Flying Crosses and the Harmon International Aviation Trophy.

Fitz Fulton given his award by previous Honoree Harry Robertson.

Bill Boeing, Jr.: William E. Boeing, Jr. is the son of aviation pioneer William Edward Boeing, founder of the Boeing Company. Bill Boeing Jr. is a real estate developer, philanthropist and an influential preservationist. In 2010, the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics presented him with a certificate of achievement for his commitment to education and the preservation of air and space history. In the late 1970s he was instrumental in ensuring that the Red Barn, the oldest airplane manufacturing facility in the United States, was preserved and integrated into aviation history. Bill Boeing Jr. is a champion for education and advocate for the children who will extend his father’s vision and legacy for the next 100 years and beyond.

Brad Bernard (L) accepting award on behalf of Bill Boeing, along with Museum Board Members Ivor Shier and George Gould.

General John (Jack) R. Dailey: Retired four-star Marine Corps General John R. Dailey has over 7,000 flying hours in fighters; light attack, reconnaissance, and electronic warfare aircraft; transports; and helicopters. He flew 450 missions during two tours in Vietnam and has numerous personal decorations which he received for combat operations. General Dailey has served as Assistant Commandant of the Marine Corps (ACMC) and Chief of Staff. During his service, he was awarded two Distinguished Service Medals, a Distinguished Flying Cross, and a Bronze Star. After his retirement from the Marine Corps, he served as Acting Associate Deputy Administrator of NASA, and since 2000, the director of the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum.

Jack Dailey (L) and Museum President & CEO Jim Kidrick.

The Ninety-Nines: The Ninety-Nines is an international fraternity of women pilots, founded in 1929 to promote the advancement of aviation through education, scholarships and mutual support while honoring their unique history and sharing their passion for flight. In 1931, founding member Amelia Earhart was elected as first president and the group was named for its 99 charter members. Today over 5,000 women are members of 190 chapters in 35 countries. Their headquarters, located at the Will Rogers World Airport in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, houses archival records, video oral histories, personal artifacts, collections and memorabilia, and biographical files on thousands of women pilots from around the world.

Accepting on behalf of the 99's and former Hall of Fame Honoree, Fran Bera.

WD-40: WD-40 is the trademark name of a lubricant, penetrating oil and water-displacing spray. Created in 1953 by the Rocket Chemical Company in San Diego, WD-40 was first used by Convair to protect the outer skin, and more importantly, the paper thin “balloon tanks” of the Atlas missile from rust and corrosion. The product became so popular that company founder, Norm Larson, renamed the company after its only product, and is now used worldwide in countless consumer and industrial applications. Accepting on behalf of WD-40 is CEO Garry Ridge.

CEO Garry Ridge (L), Museum Board Members Ivor Shier and George Gould.

Roger Schaufele: During his 37 years at Douglas Aircraft Company, Roger D. Schaufele held a number of critical engineering posts including Project Aerodynamicist, Director of Advanced Design, Director of Technology, and Vice President of Engineering. His chief responsibilities included technological designs and development for all new commercial and military aircraft manufactured by the Douglas Aircraft Company. He is currently Professor of Aircraft Design at California State University, Long Beach, and a consultant to NASA’s Aerospace Safety program throughout NASA.

Roger Schaufele (L) and Arthur Wolk (R), Museum Board Member.

Bessie Coleman: Elizabeth “Bessie” Coleman was an American civil aviator and the first African American woman to earn a pilot’s license. She specialized in stunt flying and parachuting, earning a living barnstorming and performing aerial tricks, and remains a pioneer in women’s aviation. Flying schools in the United States denied her entry, so she took it upon herself to learn French and moved to France to achieve her goal. After seven months, Coleman earned her license from France's well known Caudron Brother's School of Aviation. On April 30, 1926, Coleman was killed in an accident during a rehearsal for an aerial show. She was just 34 years old and remains a legend and legacy for young women aviators today, breaking barriers and setting achievement standards.

Thela Bowen (L) (San Diego Regional Airport Authority) and Gigi Coleman (R), niece of Bessie Coleman.

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 Association of Museums. Now showing: Ripley’s Believe It or Not! a special exhibition exploring the weird and wacky world of Robert Ripley. Visit for more information. The Museum is located at 2001 Pan American Plaza, Balboa Park, San Diego, CA 92101. The Museum and gift store are open daily from 10:00am to 4:30pm. Closed Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day.

San Diego Air & Space Museum

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