Sat, Sep 19, 2009
National Championship Air Races' 'Person Of The Year'
Southwest Airlines co-founder Herb Kelleher, a 2009 National
Aviation Hall of Fame enshrinee and National Championship Air
Races' 'Person of the Year', will join four other aviation legends
to present awards for restored classic, antique and military
aircraft at the National Aviation Heritage Invitational. Joining
Mr. Kelleher will be famed aerobatic performer Patty Wagstaff;
decorated fighter pilot, Bud Anderson; aviation pioneer, Dick
Rutan, and WWII hero and air race icon, R.A. "Bob" Hoover.
The award ceremony begins at 10:30 Sunday, September 20 at the NAHI
static display area -east of the grandstand - next to the military
Kelleher is famous for his innovation and passion in the
aviation industry. Kelleher and business partner Rollin King
launched Southwest Airlines 38 years ago. "We are honored to have
such a spectacular group of aviation pioneers and legends to be
part of our ceremonies in our 11th year here at Reno," said Ken
Perich, Executive Director of the National Aviation Heritage
The National Aviation Heritage Invitational is also very proud
and honored to have former Astronaut and Space Shuttle Commander
Captain USN (retired) Robert "Hoot" Gibson as its official
Ambassador. Gibson is well known in at the Reno Air Races as an
Unlimited class and Jet class pilot. Gibson a decorated Naval
aviator and test pilot has flown more than 110 types of
Owners and restorers have worked literally thousands of hours on
these wonderful treasures and testaments to our rich aviation
heritage and are vying for the coveted Rolls-Royce Aviation
Heritage Trophy. The Invitational brings the bygone age of aviation
back to life with the prestigious antique, classic and warbird
aircraft competition.Each aircraft is judged on its technical merit
and how well it represents the aircraft early in its career.
Authenticity to the original manufacturer's condition is the "gold
standard" for each plane.
Robert "Hoot" Gibson
The National Aviation Hall of Fame's 'People's Choice' trophy is
awarded to the owner of the aircraft which receives the most votes
from the public reviewing the aircraft during the Invitational.
Voting ends September 19 at 5:00 p.m.
When not on display at the Invitational, the striking six-foot
tall Rolls-Royce Aviation Heritage Trophy resides at the
Smithsonian Institution's National Air and Space Museum's Steven F.
Udvar-Hazy Center near Washington DC where the winning aircraft
owner's name and the name of the restoration facility is engraved
on a plaque placed on the trophy. The overall winner is presented
with a keeper trophy.
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