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Embargoed for publication after 6 PM EST - 12/17/11

National Aviation Hall of Fame to reveal names of
“Class of 2012”
at Wright Brothers Anniversary dinner

Artist and aerodynamicist among 4 aviation pioneers
to be honored in Fall 2012

(Dayton, Ohio – Dec. 17, 2011)  Tonight the National Aviation Hall of Fame (NAHF) will reveal the names of the four individuals elected for enshrinement in 2012, the organization’s 50th anniversary.  The incoming enshrinees’ names will be unveiled at a dinner hosted by Dayton-based Aviation Trail, Inc. (ATI) in celebration of the 108th Anniversary of the Wright Brothers’ first powered flight, which took place on December 17, 1903.  

Serving as the ATI dinner’s emcee and featured speaker will be Tom Crouch, Senior Curator, Division of Aeronautics at the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum.  Making the Class of 2012 announcement for the National Aviation Hall of Fame will be Ron Kaplan, NAHF Enshrinement Director.  

Each year, the NAHF Board of Nominations, a voting body comprised of over 120 air and space professionals nationwide, selects the handful of individuals to be recognized for their aviation achievements through enshrinement into the NAHF.   The NAHF Class of 2012 is a diverse group representing a broad range of significant contributions to advancing aviation.  The four are:  
  • Geraldyn “Jerrie” Cobb, record-setting pilot who learned to fly at age 12, was the first and only woman to pass all of the Mercury astronaut selection tests.  1981 Nobel Prize nominee for her pioneering humanitarian work in the Amazon jungle.
  • Keith Ferris, known world-wide as the “Dean of American Aviation Art,” founded the American Society of Aviation Artists.  Also an expert and inventor of aircraft paint systems for military camouflage and high visibility purposes.
  • The late Lt. Gen. Elwood R. “Pete” Quesada, USAF, helped develop and successfully demonstrate air-to-air refueling in 1929, served as first commander of Tactical Air Command, and later helped establish and helmed the FAA.
  • The late Richard T. Whitcomb, Acclaimed as the most influential aeronautical researcher of his time, his revolutionary concepts include the Area Rule, Supercritical Airfoil, and Winglets that enable aircraft to fly faster, farther and with less fuel.
The formal enshrinement ceremony, often referred to as “America’s Oscar Night of Aviation,” will take place in the Fall of 2012.  Details of the event, including date, location and ticket information, will be announced by the National Aviation Hall of Fame in early 2012.
The NAHF is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization founded in Dayton in 1962 and chartered by the U.S. Congress in 1964.  Its mission is to honor America’s outstanding air and space pioneers, which it does through a 17,000 square-foot public Learning Center featuring interactive exhibits, a youth education program, its annual enshrinement ceremony, and other public outreach programs.  

For more information visit the NAHF website at or call 937-256-0944 ext.10.

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Embargoed for publication after 6 PM EST - 12/17/11

Media Contact:

Ron Kaplan
NAHF Enshrinement Director
TEL: (937) 256-0944 x16
CEL: (937) 212-8847
Editor’s note:  

Photos of the Enshrinee Class of 2012 are available for download at or by calling (937) 256-0944 x16.
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