William A. Ivy has been selected for being the first person to successfully fly an airplane in the State of Nevada.
The Wright Brothers first flew a powered airplane at Kitty Hawk beach, North Carolina on December 17, 1903. That flight lasted 59 seconds and the aircraft traveled a total distance of 852 feet. On October 5, 1905, they were finally able to keep an aircraft in the air for over a half hour. These flights were at or very near sea level.
The Nevada Aerospace Hall of Fame enshrined the Richard Bissell into the NVAHOF for his contributions to the national security of the United States while working in obscurity at Area 51 for the Central Intelligence Agency. Bissell dared to take risks during one of the nation’s darkest periods, the Cold War. Under Bissell’s leadership, the Central Intelligence Agency established Area 51 in 1955 to develop the photo reconnaissance U-2—a high-altitude aircraft—which over flew over the Soviet Union and debunked the myth that the Soviet Union was way ahead of America in producing bombers, missiles and weapons.
In 1956, Bissell initiated Project RAINBOW to develop radar camouflage for the U-2 aircraft. When the efforts to make the U-2 more stealth proved unsuccessful, he started Project GUSTO to develop a follow-on stealth-designed aircraft under Project OXCART. Following his initiative, the CIA developed and operated the Mach 3 A-12 at Area 51 overseen by Bissell as DD/P.
Stanhope Boggs has been inducted for his role in the successful implementation of United States transcontinental airmail service.
Boggs was born April 27, 1895, in Tucson, Arizona Territory. He began his aviation career with basic flight training at the School of Military Aeronautics at the University of California, Berkeley graduating in February 1918. He then transferred to Kelly Field, Texas where, upon completion of his training, he received his wings and was commissioned as a second lieutenant on June 20, 1918.
Robert N. "Bob" Broadbent, a pharmacy owner in Boulder City, Nevada from 1950 to 1975, was a public servant and politician who served four terms as a Clark County Commissioner and as the Commissioner of the Bureau of Reclamation in the Department of Interior before accepting the post of running the McCarran Airport in Las Vegas. As director of aviation, he rebuilt the North Las Vegas Air Terminal, bought the old Henderson-Sky Harbor airport and refurbished the airstrip in Jean. Overseeing a budget exceeding $1 billion a year for what was then the nation's 21st busiest airport, he managed more than $1 billion in improvements at the airport, making the McCarran International Airport the nation's ninth busiest airport.
Robert William Bussard made pioneering efforts in NASA’s Project Rover and Project NERVA, nuclear rocket projects, at Jackass Flats, Nevada from 1955 to 1972 to produce clean and cheap energy through nuclear fusion. He is the inventor of the Bussard ramjet and a design engineer of the FALCON project.
Robert Elgin Timm and John Wayne Cook Sr. have been selected for their contributions to a public recognition of the safety and reliability of private aircraft operations. Early aviation was a continuing set of experiments on what could go up and for how long. Crashes and fatalities were routine until WWI. Military requirements drove the development of safer aircraft designs throughout the war, and after the successful conclusion of WWI, the Army Air Service continued being a major force in improving aircrafts.
By 1938, the accident rate had dropped to 125.9 per 100,000 flight hours and by the end of WWII the rate had dropped to 77.8 per 100,000 flight hours. By 1954, the rate was down to 37.7 per 100,000 flight hours. Robert Timm felt that it was important for the general public to recognize how safe flying had become.
In the 1920s and 1930s, aviation travel to widely spaced population centers in the plains states was growing as a quick alternative to conventional transportation systems that traditionally ran east to west. Salesmen for regional businesses began using airplanes to cover their territory more efficiently and this led to a demand for increased aviation services at key locations throughout the plains. This method of doing business had yet to reach the high desert southwest.
Newton Crumley has been inducted for his role in Operation Haylift during the winter of 1952 and his support of aviation in Nevada.
Newton H. (Newt) Crumley was born February 3, 1911, in Tonopah, Nevada. He entered the University of Nevada at the age of sixteen and received a Bachelor of Arts degree in mathematics in 1932. On July 1, 1932, he reported to Randolph Field TX where he completed primary flight training, and then completed basic flight training at Kelly Field TX. He graduated as a pursuit pilot with the rank of second lieutenant.
During 1962 to 1965, Donald J. Donohue as a US Air Force pilot and an aircraft maintenance officer, served with the CIA Project OXCART at Area 51. Retiring from the US Air Force in 1973, Donohue formed Las Vegas Air Lines as the CEO and sole owner, flying Grand Canyon air tour operations until 1998. He revolutionized Grand Canyon air tour operations by being the first Grand Canyon tour operator to have a multi-language capability, an air-conditioned fleet, instrument capable fleet with all airline transport rated pilots, and to achieve the commuter standards to meet the regulation change in 1979. With international marketing sales offices in 14 countries, Donohue's company employed up to 64 personnel and operated as many as 31 aircraft, flying as many as 136 flights in one day.
For his contributions to the national security of the United States while working in obscurity at Area 51 for the CIA and his contributions to air tour operations in the state of Nevada, Donald J. Donohue earned his place in the Nevada Aerospace Hall of Fame.
David Lynn Ferguson was a test pilot and decorated combat veteran with four decades of flying experience in advanced fighter aircrafts. With 20 years in the Air Force and another 20 years at the Lockheed Skunk Works, he is best known for test flying the YF-117A and YF-22A stealth fighter prototypes.
Jesse C. Harris gained his fame as “The Flying Sheriff” of Elko, Nevada. He used his flying skill for his duty as the Elko County Sherriff from 1950 to 1974. He worked well with all facets of law enforcement and the general public. He received many public awards during his life. In 1975, Rickenbach Field in Elko, where Harris used to work, was renamed J. C. Harris Field in his honor.
Clarence Leonard “Kelly” Johnson has been selected for his ground-breaking designs of advanced aircraft, using cutting-edge technologies and his creative management skills in the aerospace industry.
With the Soviet Union’s successful test of an atomic weapon in 1949, the United States realized that there was no way of confronting the Soviet Union if they began building a large number of offensive weapons such as nuclear tipped missiles and nuclear bombers. U.S. diplomatic and military personnel reported that at the 1955 Soviet Aviation Day show, a large number of advanced design nuclear bombers flew overhead. The United States needed strategic intelligence on the Soviet Union and its satellite states, so that it could obtain information which human intelligence couldn’t since the end of WWII.
Air Force and Navy aircrafts had been flying peripheral reconnaissance and short penetration flights into the Soviet Union, but several of these had been shot down with a significant loss of life. Recognizing the limits of Soviet antiaircraft missiles and radar units, the Central Intelligence Agency and U.S. Air Force initiated a high altitude reconnaissance program to provide this information until the development of spy satellites that would eliminate the need for manned aircrafts.
Colonel John Arthur Macready has been selected for his high altitude and endurance flight records.
In 1903, Orville Wright flew for 12 seconds, covering a distance of 120 feet. By 1908, Wilber Wright was able to complete a flight that lasted 2 hours and 20 minutes. Glenn Curtiss won the first international speed event, completing a 10km course averaging 46.5miles per hour. All of the aircraft involved were pusher biplanes (two-winged with a single engine behind the pilot).
World War I greatly accelerated aircraft development. Tractor biplanes (two-winged with one or more engines facing the front of the plane) replaced the pusher planes. Both the Allies and Central Powers used military aircrafts offensively, defensively, and for reconnaissance purposes.
Aircrafts continued to evolve from low powered biplanes made of wood and fabric into high powered aluminum monoplanes. In the postwar era, air races and their prize money led to the rapid evolution of engines and airframes. The military also saw the need to fly faster, higher, and longer in order to establish and maintain air superiority. Thus began one of the most exciting periods in aviation history.
Senator Patrick A. McCarran was chosen for his leadership in the creation of an independent national aviation authority, advocacy of a separate air force, and development of civilian and military airfields across the United States.
In the 1920s, aviators frequently built their planes based upon an idea or purchased surplus military aircraft. Airfields were a little more than bladed dirt strips or grass fields dotted across the countryside. Commercial passenger service began when a person was willing to pay for the privilege of sharing space with several mailbags in order to reach their destination sooner. Aviation leaders recognized that commercial service couldn’t reach its full potential without Federal action to regulate and improve the industry.
Jane A. Miller was chosen for her pioneering contributions to the development of flight nurse standards and practices for use in pre-hospital and emergency nursing during aeromedical evacuation or rescue operations.
It is a well established principle that being able to initiate medical treatment within the first hour saves lives. Since the early 1900s, motorized vehicles have been the most common and effective method of transporting the sick and injured.
Military leaders saw the advantage of using aircraft, and later helicopters, as early as World War II and during the Korean War. Although well-established military flight nurse programs had evolved during the Vietnam War, no civilian programs existed until 1972. In that year, “Flight for Life,” the first civilian hospital based helicopter air ambulance program, was established at St. Anthony’s Hospital in Denver, Colorado.
Rezk M. Mohamed has been inducted for his contributions to the Civil Air Patrol and multiple communities in the Western United States.
In 1992, Mohamed served as Nevada Wing Chief Check Pilot and Wing Counter-narcotics Officer (South), and flew sorties for the U.S. Customs Service and the Drug Enforcement Agency. In August 1993, he transported two Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms explosive ordnance disposal agents and their equipment to Elko, Nevada so that they could “neutralize a truck bomb that posed a threat to the entire city.” Mohamed is also credited with saving two lives in one week. His actions were reported by the Air Force Rescue Coordination Center and printed on the front page of the CAP News dated August 1993. The first was for a blood transfusion flight to Havasu City, AZ that took place in the middle of the night. The second was a blood flight to Parker, AZ during the daytime. By the time he stopped flying, he had accumulated 10,732 flying hours.
Florence J. Murphy was chosen for her role in the development and expansion of civilian and commercial aviation in Nevada.
In the late 1930s and early 1940s, southern Nevada had two operational airports: one was in Boulder City and the other was Western Airfield in North Las Vegas (which later became Nellis Air Force Base). Facilities for civilian aircrafts were limited. Commercial aviation consisted of infrequent flights of Trans World Airlines at the Boulder City airport and Western Airlines at Western Airfield. No intrastate or regional airline served Nevada at that time.
Francis “Frank” Murray was a CIA pilot for Project OXCART, testing the A-12, the United States’ first stealth plane. During the Vietnam War, he flew 67 combat missions, including Operation BLACK SHIELD, in which he flew A-12C over North Vietnam and North Korea for reconnaissance missions.
William C. “Bill” Park, Jr. received many awards and honors. He was awarded with the 1969 Octave Chanute Award from the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics for the research and development of Lockheed’s high-performance fighters and high-altitude reconnaissance airplanes. He was twice (1964 and1989) honored with Iven C. Kincheloe Award by the Society of Experimental Test Pilots (SETP) for his outstanding professional accomplishments in test-flying Lockheed’s Blackbird and Have Blue. In October 1988, the U.S. Secretary of Defense Frank Carlucci praised Park’s hard work, dedication, and sacrifice during his address at the SETP Symposium and called him “an unsung hero … the backbone of our nation’s defense.” Park was one of the five test pilots inducted into the Aerospace Walk of Honor in 1995 in the city of Lancaster, California.
The United States 4477th Test and Evaluation Squadron (4477 TES) under the claimant of the Tactical Air Command was a product of Project Constant Peg, a unit created to expose the tactical air forces to the flight characteristics of fighter aircraft used by the Soviet Union during the Cold War.
The Nevada Aerospace Hall of Fame enshrined the Roadrunners into the NVAHOF for their contributions to the national security of the United States while working in obscurity at Area 51 for the Central Intelligence Agency. The Roadrunners, made up of CIA, Air Force, and contractor participants, founded Area 51 where they developed and tested the Lockheed U-2, A-12, FY-112, and M-21/D-21 mothership-drone under the project code names, AQUATONE, OXCART, BLACK SHIELD, KEDLOCK, and TAGBOARD.
The Nevada Aerospace Hall of Fame has enshrined Louis Wellington "Lou" Schalk Jr. into the NVAHOF for his contributions as a Lockheed test pilot at Area 51.
Schalk designed the cockpit and interfaced with the systems engineers on the A-12, YF-12, and SR-71 Blackbird. On 26 April 1962, in the extremely hazardous world of test pilots, he made aviation history when he became the first to fly America's first stealth-designed aircraft, the CIA's A-12 Mach 3 reconnaissance plane. Schalk flew 13 A-12 test flights at Area 51, Nevada, for the CIA A-12 OXCART program, many of them exceeding Mach 3.0 and at altitudes sometimes exceeding 90,000 feet.
In 1967, Richard F. Sinclair, following a tour of duty in Vietnam, served with the 4538th FWS at Nellis AFB, Nevada. The Air Force detached him to the Foreign Technology Div. AFSC, Wright Patterson AFB, Ohio in 1968 as an F-4 aircraft flight chief to exploit acquired Soviet MiGs, resulting in the Air Force's Red Flag program and the US Navy's Strike Fighter Tactics Instructor program (SFTI) known as TOPGUN that reversed the ratio of US military planes lost in the Vietnam War and all wars since.
Promoted to Chief Master Sergeant, Sinclair continued to serve as the chief of maintenance in the 6513th Flight Test Squadron operating in a classified area in Nevada. For national security reasons, these activities and their venue remain classified. As a Senior Master Sergeant, Sinclair continued to work on various classified exploitation programs which eventually on 1 December 1977 became the 6513 Flight Test Squadron assigned to the Air Force Flight Test Center at Edwards AFB California operating at the classified site in Nevada.
CMSGT Richard F. Sinclair, USAF (Ret), for his classified contributions to military aviation in Nevada, has earned his place in the Nevada Aerospace Hall of Fame’s Enshrinee Class of 2018.
The Nevada Aerospace Hall of Fame has enshrined Hugh “Slip” Slater into the NVAHOF for his service as a US Air Force officer in command of the Area 51 facility of the Central Intelligence Agency.
Under Slater’s command, the CIA’s Project OXCART produced the A-12 reconnaissance aircraft, a stealthy, fast, and high-flying replacement for the U-2 reconnaissance plane. Using slide rule technology, Project OXCART designed and built America’s first stealth-designed plane that today is still the fastest and highest flying manned air-breathing aircraft ever.
Colonel Lowell Herbert Smith has been selected for his contributions leading to the development of international air travel.
After the successful conclusion of WWI, the Army Air Service wanted to expand their popularity among the general public and gain political support of their programs. General Mason M. Patrick, head of the Army Air Service, decided that the best way was to have a group of pilots fly specially built aircrafts around the world. Captain Lowell H. Smith was one of the pilots selected for this challenging mission.
Kathleen Snaper has been inducted for her record setting flight below sea level as well as her efforts in the area of general aviation flight safety.
Kathleen M. Snaper was born Sept 8, 1939 in Minneapolis, MN. In the early 1940s, the family moved to Simi Valley, CA and her father found employment as an aircraft mechanic with Lockheed in Burbank, CA. After graduation from high school, she attended the Pasadena Playhouse to study dancing and then moved to Hollywood where she studied acting until she married and relocated to Las Vegas, NV in 1969 where she began raising two sons.
William M. (Bill) Stead has been selected for his contributions in the field of racing and for founding the National Champion Air Races in Reno, Nevada.
In 1920, the first National Air Meets, which later became the National Air Races, was held in New York. In 1929, it took place in Cleveland, Ohio for the first time. Since then, the Cleveland Air Races was the crowning achievement each year. The air races were held in the Midwest and Eastern United States most of the time. However, the growth of the nation meant that the airfields were subject to encroachment at an alarming rate. In 1949, a pilot at the Cleveland Races crashed into a home, killing the pilot, a mother, and her child. As a result, the Federal Aviation Agency (FAA) shut down fixed-course air racing.
Richard Thomas has been inducted for his role in the successful demonstration of a curved surface approach to low radar cross-section aircraft design.
Richard G. "Dick" Thomas, born April 2, 1930, in Chautauqua, N.Y., first flew in an open cockpit Stearman biplane at Parks College, St. Louis University, where he received a Bachelor of Science degree in Aeronautical Engineering in 1952. A graduate of the Reserve Officer Training Corps program he was commissioned a second lieutenant in the U.S. Air Force that same year. He earned his wings in 1952 when he completed primary flight training in the T-6 at Marana Air Base, AZ. In 1953 he completed basic flight training at James Connally Air Force Base at Waco, TX. After transitioning to jets in the T-33, he flew the F-80C and was sent to Tyndale AFB, Panama City, FL, for F-86D All Weather Fighters. In Oct, 1953 he was assigned to the 456th Fighter Interceptor Squadron at McCord AFB, WA to fly F-86's where he completed his service in 1956.
Walter T. Varney has been selected for his role in the development of commercial air mail service to Nevada.
In 1918, the first scheduled airmail flight took off from Washington, D.C. to New York. The plane was piloted by a young Army Air Service pilot who promptly got lost and flipped the aircraft during landing. Airmail routes were expanded over time with the completion of transcontinental service in September 1920. This route went from Elko and Reno, Nevada to San Francisco. Feeder routes eventually provided connections to transcontinental service points, so that communities that were not on the transcontinental route could also have air mail service.
Harlyn S. Vidovich has been inducted for his role as one of the first Native Americans to fly American military aircraft in defense of America’s freedom.
He participated in twenty-five combat missions in China. From May 25- June 13, 1943, he participated in multiple dive-bombing, strafing, and bomber escort missions that “resulted in the withdrawal of enemy troops from a large portion of the Tungting Lake area.” On December 5, while in the Changteh area, he was reported to have shot down his third enemy aircraft (according to 23rd Fighter Group records). On January 18, 1944, Vidovich was assigned to lead a ferrying flight of five new P-40 aircraft from Kunming to Kweilin, but none of the aircraft reached their destination. A survivor was finally located and he reported that bad weather had caused everyone to crash. Vidovich’s remains were recovered one week later.
Commander Bruce Avery Van Voorhis has been selected for gallantly giving his life for his country. The Japanese Imperial forces attacked the U.S. forces at Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941 and the British forces in Hong Kong on December 8, 1941. The U.S. bases in Guam and Wake Island fell shortly thereafter. During 1941-1942, the Japanese invaded the U.S.-occupied Philippines. The U.S. and Filipino forces held out at Bataan until April 9, 1942 when they surrendered.
The United States’ reaction to this surrender was limited because the primary attention was paid to the major loss of the Pacific fleet at Pearl Harbor. The Doolittle Raid on Tokyo resulted in Japan’s assault on U.S. facilities on Midway Island when they were moving to attack New Guinea. U.S. ships were rushed to the Coral Sea, where they forced the Japanese fleet to turn back. Admiral Nimitz was also able to surprise the Japanese fleet at Midway and delivered a decisive victory for the U.S. Navy.
The Japanese military was able to make limited advances in New Guinea and the Solomon Islands during 1942. The Australian Army successfully defended the Royal Australian Air Force base at Milne Bay and the Allied forces successfully captured Guadalcanal in February 1943. Operation Cartwheel was begun in June 1943 to cut off Rabaul, a major Japanese base, destroying its supply and communications lines. This allowed the U.S. forces to initiate an island hopping campaign that would eventually lead to the islands of Japan. Bruce Van Voorhis was part of this effort.
Captain Joseph Albert Walker has been selected for his leading role in the collection of data pertaining to hypersonic air flow, aerodynamic heating, control and stability at hypersonic speeds, reaction controls for a flight above the atmosphere, piloting techniques for reentry, human factors in space, and flight instrumentation.
During the 1950s and 1960s, the U.S. government launched a complex series of programs with the goal of manned space flight. The “X-series” of experimental aircrafts/spacecrafts were developed for these programs. The X-series began with Bell X-1, the first aircraft to break the speed of sound, and ended with North American X-15, which holds the world record of 4,519mph for the fastest speed by a manned rocket-powered aircraft. Two X-15 flights exceeded 100km in altitude, qualifying the pilot as an astronaut under the Federation Aeronautique Internationale rules.
Charles P. Winters was chosen for his contributions to the development and testing of many advanced military aircrafts and his service to the nation.
Flight testing requires bravery and flying skills of the highest order. However, much more is demanded of flight test professionals: scientific and engineering knowledge, critical thinking and judgment, and first-rate management skills. A well-devised flight test program, skillfully carried out, calls forth the highest performance of the aircraft and its associated systems. Finding the people who are capable of planning and flying such a program is neither easy nor an automatic process. Identifying someone to oversee such a program is even harder.