San Diego Air & Space Museum announces 2017 International Air & Space Hall of Fame class

SAN DIEGO (KUSI) — The San Diego Air & Space Museum Wednesday announced its 2017 International Air & Space Hall of Fame class, which includes Christa McAuliffe, one of the seven crew members killed in the 1986 Challenger space shuttle explosion.

A ceremony will be held Nov. 9 at the Balboa Park museum’s Pavilion of Flight to induct the eight new members of the Hall of Fame.

In addition to McAuliffe, who in 1985 was selected from more than 11,000 applicants to become the first teacher in space, physicist John J. Montgomery and engineer Chance Vought of Vought Aircraft Co. will be posthumously inducted.

Montgomery, a San Diego aviation pioneer who is best known for his invention of controlled heavier-than-air flying machines, died in 1911.

Vought became a legend of the aerospace industry when his efforts led to the creation of the famed F-8 Crusader and A-7 Corsair II, two game-changers in combat. He was inducted into the Aviation Hall of Fame in 1989.

Additional inductees include the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, the world’s largest technical society for dedicated to the global aerospace profession, with  more than 30,000 members from 88 countries; John Herrington, a retired U.S. naval aviator and former NASA astronaut who in 2002 became the first Native American to walk in space; and Hudson B. Drake, whose career as an executive in the aerospace, defense and electronics industries spanned nearly four decades.

"We’re especially pleased to honor this exemplary Class of 2017 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 and CEO of the museum.

Since 1963, the International Air & Space Hall of Fame has honored more than 200 pilots, crew members, visionaries, inventors, aerospace engineers, business leaders, designers and space pioneers.

Categories: Local San Diego News