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National Aviation Hall of Fame announces the class of 2023

The National Aviation Hall of Fame (NAHF) has announced the "Class of 2023" which will be enshrined at a ceremony at the National Building Museum in Washington D.C. on Sep. 22, 2023. The NAHF Board of Nominations is comprised of over 130 aviation professionals across the country. The voting body chooses from a group of nominated air and space pioneers to be recognized for their achievements and inducted into the NAHF. Since it was founded in 1962, 254 people have been given the honor of an induction into the only Congressionally-chartered aviation hall of fame in the United States. "We believe this is an excellent class, and we are already looking forward to their induction in Washington, DC," NAHF Board of Nominations Chair Tom Lodge said. "From pioneers Benn and Coffey to visionaries Gittens and Stimpson and to aerospace heroes Haise and Sullivan, the NAHF's Class of 2023 represents the best in aviation. We applaud the Board of Nominations for their challenging and thorough work." This year's class features a range of pioneers that have contributed to the advancement of flight and the human exploration of space. Kathryn Sullivan is a geologist, oceanographer, NASA astronaut, U.S. Navy officer and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration administrator. Sullivan was the first woman to walk in space and is a veteran of three shuttle missions. She was also the first woman to visit the deepest spot in the ocean, the Challenger Deep. Angela Gittens is a leader who shaped airport security and policy as the CEO of multiple large-hub airports including ATL and Director General of ACI-World. Fred Haise is a U.S. Marine, a fighter pilot, a test pilot, an Apollo astronaut, a Space Shuttle astronaut, an aerospace executive and an advocate. Haise has influence and experience in U.S. aerospace history and is a best-selling author. The class will also include three late and great pioneers. The late Velta Benn was a pioneer who began Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASP) and flew for over 63 years. Benn amassed over 55,000 flying hours as a CFI, FAA Examiner and safety expert. The late Ed Stimpson was a business aviation legend. Stimpson served in multiple leadership roles for over 40 years and led policy in important areas like fuel and education, essential in General Aviation. The late Cornelius Coffey was a pioneer that broke racial boundaries to become a pilot and mechanic and open a flight school that trained over 1,500 students. Students of Coffey's flight school included hundreds of Tuskegee Airmen. The ceremony will be in September but partnerships, sponsorships and ticket sales will be available in the spring.
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