Wright Brothers Memorial Trophy

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Wright Brothers Memorial Trophy
2010 design of Wright Brothers Memorial Trophy.jpg
Wright Brothers Memorial Trophy
Awarded for"significant public service of enduring value to aviation in the United States".[1]
Presented byNational Aeronautic Association
First awarded1948
Currently held byJohn R. Dailey
WebsiteOfficial website
The original trophy, awarded from 1948 to 2009

The Wright Brothers Memorial Trophy was established by the National Aeronautic Association (NAA) in 1948 after a trust fund was created in 1936 by Godfrey Lowell Cabot of Boston, a former president of the NAA. It is awarded to a living American for "significant public service of enduring value to aviation in the United States."[1] The presentation of the award is made annually at the Aero Club of Washington, as close as possible to December 17 each year,[2] the day on which, in 1903, the Wright brothers made the first flight in an airplane.[3] The inaugural recipient of the trophy was William F. Durand, "a pioneer in aeronautics, naval propulsion and engineering research methods".[4] Until 2010, winners of the award received a trophy depicting the Wright brothers' Wright Flyer aircraft.[5] From 2010 onwards, a redesigned trophy featuring a silver obelisk and bronze inscription has been awarded.[1]

The trophy has only been awarded to women on three occasions. Olive Ann Beech, founding partner and president of Beech Aircraft, received the award in 1980;[6] Marion Blakey, former administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration and chairman of the National Transportation Safety Board was honored in 2013,[7] and the 2016 recipient was Colleen Barrett, President Emeritus of Southwest Airlines.[8] The most recent winner of the Wright Brothers Memorial Trophy, in 2018, was Lloyd W. Newton.[9]

List of winners[edit]

Year Image Recipient Notes Ref(s)
1948 William Durand William F. Durand First civilian chairman of the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics and prominent propeller designer [10][11]
1949 Charles Lindeburgh Charles Lindbergh First transatlantic flight (from New York to Paris) in the Spirit of St. Louis, cited for his "long and selfless career in aviation" [10][12]
1950 Grover Loening Grover Loening Pioneering aircraft designer who managed the Wright Company, co-founded Pan Am and Grumman [10][13]
1951 Jerome Clarke Hunsaker Aeronautical engineering pioneer who developed the first such course at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, founder of the Institute of the Aeronautical Sciences [10][14]
1952 Jimmy Doolittle Jimmy Doolittle Decorated military aviator who led the first raid on Japan, pioneer in instrument flying and first President of the Air Force Association [10][15]
1953 John Carl Hinshaw John Carl Hinshaw Member of the United States House of Representatives, cited for "fostering the sound and consistent growth of aviation in all its forms, so that it might become a deterrent to war and that it might increasingly become an important carrier of the people and the commerce of the world." [10]
1954 Theodore von Kármán Theodore von Kármán Mathematician and physicist who pioneered theoretical aerodynamics [10][16]
1955 Hugh Latimer Dryden in October 1959 Hugh Latimer Dryden Significant research into high-speed aerodynamics, fluid mechanics and acoustics, director of the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics until the creation of NASA [10][17]
1956 Edward Pearson Warner Aeronautical engineer, first president of the International Civil Aviation Organization [10][18]
1957 Stuart Symington Stuart Symington First United States Secretary of the Air Force [10][19]
1958 John Frederick Victory He "exerted a driving influence to advance the progress of aeronautics in America and to promote the public interest". [10]
1959 William P. MacCracken Jr. circa 1934 William P. MacCracken Jr. "A pioneer in aviation legislation" and recognised as the first regulator of aviation in the United States [10][20]
1960 Frederick C. Crawford Industrialist and business leader who was the chairman of the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics's Committee on Power Plants for Aircraft [21][22]
1961 Mike Monroney Mike Monroney Wrote and sponsored the Federal Aviation Act of 1958 that created the Federal Aviation Administration in pursuit of safer, more regulated aviation in the United States [21][23]
1962 John Stack in 1944 John Stack Pioneered research into supersonic flight [21][24]
1963 Donald Wills Douglas Sr. President of the Douglas Aircraft Company from 1921 to 1957, which produced the Douglas DC-3, an aircraft recognised as bringing a "new era" of air travel [21][25]
1964 Harry Frank Guggenheim Harry Frank Guggenheim Established the Daniel Guggenheim Fund for the Promotion of Aeronautics with his father Daniel Guggenheim, establishing research centers across the United States [21][26]
1965 Jerome F. Lederer Pioneer in aircraft safety who led the introduction of the flight recorder to provide insight into air crashes [21][27]
1966 Juan Trippe Founder of Pan American World Airways, cited for "public service of enduring value to aviation in the United States" [21][28]
1967 Igor Sikorsky Igor Sikorsky Aircraft pioneer whose work resulted in the design and production of the first mass-produced helicopter, the R-4 [21][29]
1968 Warren Magnuson circa 1950s Warren Magnuson United States Senator whose "dynamic leadership in developing national and international policy that has assured United States' preeminence in aeronautics" [21][30]
1969 William McPherson Allen William McPherson Allen Businessman, member of the board at Boeing, cited for "significant public service in the development of commercial airlines, civil and military aircraft" [21][31]
1970 C. R. Smith C. R. Smith CEO of American Airlines from 1934 to 1968 and from 1973 to 1974, cited for his "significant public service of enduring value in development of military and civil air transportation and for his contributions as a dynamic leader and articulate spokesman for U.S. aviation progress." [32]
1971 Howard Cannon Howard Cannon United States Senator, cited for "use of aviation, both as a viable national transportation system and as an essential element in maintaining a strong military posture", played a "role in passing legislation that deregulated the airline and trucking industries" [32][33]
1972 John H. Shaffer John H. Shaffer Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration from 1969 to 1973 "to the benefit and safety of the general public and of all who fly". [32]
1973 Barry Goldwater in September 1962 Barry Goldwater Helped secure the Goldwater–Nichols Act and cited as "serving as an articulate spokesman for American aviation and space in the Congress and throughout the world" [32][34]
1974 Richard T. Whitcomb in April 1955 Richard T. Whitcomb Pioneering aerodynamicist who conceived of the supercritical airfoil concept [32][35]
1975 Kelly Johnson circa 1975 Kelly Johnson Aeronautical engineer who, with the Skunk Works, was responsible for the design of many pioneering aircraft including the Lockheed U-2 and SR-71 Blackbird [32][36]
1976 William A. Patterson President of United Airlines from 1934 until 1966, cited for "his contributions to the development of safe and efficient air transportation" [32]
1977 Ira C. Eaker Ira C. Eaker Commander of the United States Army Air Forces in Europe in World War II, helped establish the United States Air Force as a separate entity [32][37]
1978 Jennings Randolph Jennings Randolph Cited for his "successful initiation and advocacy of major aviation legislation over more than three decades of service in Congress" [32][38]
1979 Thornton Wilson Headed the development of the LGM-30 Minuteman intercontinental ballistic missile, president of Boeing [32][39]
1980 Olive Ann Beech Olive Ann Beech Co-founder, president, and chairwoman of the Beech Aircraft Company [6][40]
1981 Dwane Wallace President and/or Chairman of the Board of the Cessna Aircraft Company from 1935 until the 1970s [40][41]
1982 Willis Hawkins Designer of the Lockheed C-130 Hercules, cited for "more than 40 years of public service to aviation through technical innovations and management leadership in the design, development, and production of military and commercial aircraft, space vehicles, and advanced missilery" [40][42]
1983 John Leland Atwood John Leland Atwood Chief Engineer/Executive at North American Aviation for more than 35 years, involved in the design of multiple aircraft including the P-51 Mustang, X-15 and the Apollo Lunar Module [40][43]
1984 David S. Lewis in 1983 David S. Lewis Aeronautical engineer who was chairman and CEO of General Dynamics, during which time the company produced the F-16, and the Trident submarine and the M1 Abrams tank [40][44]
1985 Harry B. Combs Cited for "over half a century of significant and enduring contributions to aviation as a pilot, an industrial leader, an author, and an advisor to government", including creating Combs Aircraft, a company which trained thousands of military pilots during World War II [40][45]
1986 Joe Sutter in July 2006 Joe Sutter Aeronautical engineer who managed the Boeing design team developing the Boeing 747 and who "contributed significantly to U.S. preeminence in civil aeronautics" [40][46]
1987 Allen Paulson Businessman, head of Gulfstream and pilot who set various speed records, cited for his "outstanding and enduring contributions to aviation as a pilot, designer, entrepreneur, industry leader, and employer throughout a career spanning over 40 years" [40][47]
1988 Sam B. Williams Pioneered advances in small gas-turbine-engine technologies [40][48]
1989 Thomas V. Jones Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Northrop Corporation, cited for "guiding the development of advanced aircraft, electronic systems, and manufacturing technologies" [40][49]
1990 Edwin I. Colodny Chairman of the USAir Group, cited for "a lifetime of meritorious service to air transportation as an airline executive and public servant" [50]
1991 Benjamin A. Cosgrove Contributed to the design of "four generations" of Boeing aircraft, cited for "a lifetime contribution to commercial aviation safety" [50][51]
1992 Jake Garn Jake Garn Senator, payload specialist on board STS-51-D and cited as "one of the U.S. Senate's most effective aerospace spokesmen and legislators" [50][52]
1993 Gerhard Neumann German-born American engineer, cited for "extraordinary achievement, creative effort, and inspired leadership in the design and development of aircraft engines", including designing the world's first nuclear-powered jet engine [50][53]
1994 Albert Lee Ueltschi Founder of FlightSafety International Inc. [50][54]
1995 Russell W. Meyer Jr. Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Cessna from 1975, cited for the "advancement of worldwide aviation safety through sophisticated training methods, and use of aviation to deliver state-of-the-art health care to people otherwise deprived of such high quality medical service" [50]
1996 Frederick W. Smith Founder, chairman, president, and CEO of FedEx, created in 1971, cited in part for "leadership in the revitalization of general aviation" [50][55]
1997 Charles Kaman Pioneer in the development and manufacture of helicopter technology [50][56]
1998 Edward Stimpson Dedicated his career to aviation safety, cited in part for his "active involvement in creating career opportunities for young men and women" [50][57]
1999 Delford M. Smith Founder of Evergreen Helicopters, cited in part for his "exceptional achievements in creation of worldwide aviation enterprises" [50][58]
2000 Herb Kelleher in October 2007 Herb Kelleher Chairman Emeritus and former CEO of Southwest Airlines which demonstrated a "revolutionary and successful model for low fares, innovative customer service and employee recognition" [59]
2001 Neil Armstrong in July 1969 Neil Armstrong Cited for "a lifetime of public service as a Navy pilot, a civilian test pilot, a NASA Astronaut commanding Gemini 8 and Apollo 11, the first person to step on the Moon, an engineer, an educator and a business leader" [59]
2002 Paul Poberezny Founder of the Experimental Aircraft Association, cited in part for "devoting his life to making aviation accessible to all Americans" [59]
2003 John Glenn John Glenn Cited for "his service as a military pilot, NASA astronaut and U.S. Senator from Ohio. Glenn led the United States' efforts in exploring outer space, becoming the first American to orbit the Earth" [59]
2004 Robert Crandall Former president and chairman of American Airlines, cited as "a pioneer following government deregulation of the airlines, and he defined and shaped the industry as it exists today" [59][60]
2005 Edward C. Aldridge in May 2001 Edward C. Aldridge Jr. The 16th United States Secretary of the Air Force [59][61]
2006 Norman Mineta circa 2001 Norman Mineta The 14th and longest serving United States Secretary of Transportation, cited in part for "a myriad of lasting accomplishments to the world of transportation and aviation" [59][62]
2007 Eugene Cernan in December 1971 Eugene Cernan Last man to walk on the Moon, cited for "his extraordinary lifetime of achievement as an Astronaut, Naval Aviator, and Ambassador for Aerospace" [59][63]
2008 Norman R. Augustine in July 2009 Norman R. Augustine Chairman of the Review of United States Human Space Flight Plans Committee, cited for his "legendary and inspirational aerospace leadership in both industry and government" [64][65]
2009 Steven F. Udvar-Házy Former chairman and CEO of International Lease Finance Corporation, cited for his "innovative aerospace business practices, improved aircraft design, piloting skills, and selfless philanthropy ensuring preservation of our aerospace history" [66][67]
2010 Harrison Ford in 2017 Harrison Ford Actor and pilot, cited for "engaging our nation's youth in aviation and inspiring tomorrow's leaders, innovators and enthusiasts to secure a strong future for all of aviation" [68]
2011 Thomas P. Stafford in April 1972 Thomas P. Stafford Commander of Apollo 10, cited for "pioneering achievements that have led the way to the moon, to greater international cooperation in space, and to a safer America" [69]
2012 Robert J. Stevens Former chairman, president and CEO of Lockheed Martin, cited for "his dedication, leadership, and major contributions to the security of the United States" [70]
2013 Marion Blakey Marion Blakey President and CEO of the Aerospace Industries Association, administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration, cited in part for her "distinguished career as a dedicated public servant" [71][72]
2014 Bob Hoover in July 2011 Bob Hoover Considered one of the "great pilots in history", cited in part for "providing an unsurpassed, inspiring example to generations of pilots worldwide" [73]
2015 Burt Rutan in October 2004 Burt Rutan Aerospace engineer who designed Voyager, SpaceShipOne, and multiple pioneering homebuilt aircraft [74]
2016 Colleen Barrettin October 2007 Colleen Barrett Cited for "dedicating nearly 50 years to aviation, including serving as President of Southwest Airlines, where she devoted herself to creating a unique, service-oriented corporate culture which made her one of the most successful leaders in U.S. airline history" [75]
2017 John R. Dailey John R. Dailey Cited for "his courageous and dedicated service to the country and his commitment to sharing the history and technology of aviation and space flight with present and future generations" [76]
2018 Lloyd W. "Fig" Newton Lloyd W. Newton Flew 269 combat missions in Vietnam and, in 1974, he joined the renowned U.S. Air Force Demonstration Team, "The Thunderbirds”, as the first African American pilot. Newton served as Commander, Air Education and Training Command from 1997 to 2000. He retired in 2000 from the United States Air Force as a four-star general. [9]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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External links[edit]