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2018 International Air & Space Hall of Fame Celebration

The International Air & Space Hall of Fame Celebration inducted its Distinguished Class of 2018 on Wednesday, October 3, in the San Diego Air & Space Museum’s Pavilion of Flight.

Class of 2018 Included:

Peggy Whitson

Whitson holds the record for most days spent in space of any NASA astronaut – with a total of 665. Whitson was the first female commander of the International Space Station (ISS) with Expedition 16, and in 2017 became the first female astronaut to command the ISS twice.

Ellen Ochoa

Ochoa became the first Hispanic woman in the world to go to space in 1993, serving on a nine-day mission aboard the Space Shuttle Discovery. A veteran of four flights, Ochoa logged nearly 1,000 hours in space. Ochoa retired in May 2018, from NASA’s Johnson Space Center after 30 years. She was the JSC’s first Hispanic director, its second female and 11th overall director.

Brad Tilden 

Tilden’s passion for Alaska Airlines has redefined travel fare expectations for airline customers – and ensured the highest quality air travel experience. A 25-year veteran of Alaska Airlines, he now serves as Chairman/CEO of Alaska Air Group, parent company of Alaska Airlines, Horizon Air and the recently acquired Virgin America.

Bruce N. Whitman


Whitman joined FlightSafety International in 1961 and since 2003 serves as Chairman, President & CEO. He is Chairman of the USO of Metropolitan New York and Chairman of the Audit Committee and member of the Executive Committee of Orbis International. Bruce is a Trustee of the Air Force Academy Falcon Foundation and of Kent School. He is also a Trustee and founding member of the Board of the National World War II Museum, a member of the Board and Audit Committee of Business Executives for National Security, and serves on the Boards of the Aerospace Industries Association, Corporate Angel Network, General Aviation Manufacturers Association and National Aeronautic Association. He is Chairman Emeritus of the Congressional Medal of Honor Foundation, Director Emeritus of the Civil Air Patrol and an Emeritus Board Member of the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum.

General Lloyd W. “Fig” Newton - USAF

Newton was the first African-American pilot in the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds. A retired United States Air Force four-star general, he served as Commander, Air Education and Training Command from 1997-2000. Newton was a superb command pilot with more than 4,000 flying hours, including in the F-117 stealth fighter. Currently, Newton is Chair of the National Business Aviation Association.

Major Richard I. Bong - USAAF


America’s all-time Ace of Aces, Bong downed 40 enemy planes in the Pacific theater of WWII while flying the P-38 Lightning fighter. His many decorations for outstanding skills and extraordinary courage included America’s highest award –the Medal of Honor. He died on August 6, 1945 at the young age of 24 while testing one of our first fighter jets (P80). Thousands attended his funeral, and many more lined the route to the Wisconsin cemetery where he was buried.

Corporate Angel Network / Air Charity Network


National charitable organizations whose missions are to transport those in serious need. Corporate Angel Network’s sole mission is to transport cancer patients to hospitals, at no cost, in order to receive a specialized form of treatment. Air Charity Network provides free air transportation to specialized health care facilities or distant destinations due to family, community or national crisis.

Guests from around the world join the honorees 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 aviation pilots, crew members, visionaries, inventors, aerospace engineers, business leaders, preservationists, designers and space pioneers.

Each honoree is selected for 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.





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