SD Air & Space Museum names eight new Hall of Famers

SAN DIEGO (CNS) – The San Diego Air & Space Museum Tuesday named eight new members of the International Air & Space Hall of Fame.

Joe Engle, Fitz Fulton, Bill Boeing Jr., John (Jack) Dailey, Roger Schaufele, Bessie Coleman, the Ninety-Nines and WD-40 will be inducted Nov. 1 in a celebration at the museum’s Pavilion of Flight in Balboa Park.

“We’re especially pleased to honor this exemplary Class of 2014 because these pioneers have not only pushed back the frontiers of air and space exploration, they’ve also become strong positive role models for today’s youth,” said Jim Kidrick, the president and CEO of the museum.

Engle is a former astronaut, space shuttle commander and test pilot of the famed X-15 rocket plane.

Fulton also is a former test pilot – he is known for flying the B-58 Hustler bomber – and considered one of the greatest test pilots of all time, according to the museum.

Boeing is an influential preserver of air and space history.

Dailey, a retired Marine general and aviator, is the director of the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum.

Schaufele is an innovative aircraft engineer and designer, while Coleman, who died in a crash in 1926, was the first African American woman to earn her pilot’s license.

The Ninety-Nines are an international women’s pilot fraternity whose first president was Amelia Earhart.

San Diego-based lubricant maker WD-40 played a significant role in the quest to protect the Atlas Rocket, according to the museum.

“Aviation and space exploration, as embodied by the people we honor in the International Air & Space Hall of Fame, is a metaphor for the human pioneering spirit,” Kidrick said. “It’s a critical and key element of our exploring nature. We must inspire and provide a pathway for today’s kids to challenge the science, technology, engineering and math equations, which are so important to our future.”

The museum said inductees are selected based on their achievements and historic contributions to aviation, space or aerospace innovation, or expanding the public’s aviation and space awareness to the world. The Wright Brothers, Charles Lindbergh and Jimmy Doolittle are among the members.

Categories: KUSI