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2020 & 2021

Aviation Trail's 2020 & 2021 Trailblazer Awards have been postponed pending development of COVID 19 precautions. Watch for announcements of the recipient and the details of the next presentation.

ATI Trailblazer logo.jpg


Aviation Trail's 2019 Trailblazer Award was presented at a free ice cream social at the Armstrong Air & Space Museum in Wapakoneta, Ohio, Saturday afternoon, Aug. 17 from 2:00 to 4:00 PM.

The recipients were Neil Armstrong (posthumously) for his first man on the moon achievement 50 years ago, and the Armstrong Air & Space Museum for memorializing Armstrong, the moon landing, and Ohio Aviation. 

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The 2018 Aviation Trail Trailblazer Award was presented to:

The Champaign Aviation Museum, Urbana, Ohio

In Recognition of its

• Restoration to flying condition and public display of           seven World War II combat aircraft, begun in 2005             by Jerry Shiffer and continued by the generosity of his       family.
• Administration of the museum and artifacts, through         its volunteers, and available free to the public. 
• Reconstruction of the B-17 "Champaign Lady", a work       in progress.
• Education of students and adults about World War II           aircraft and our veterans' military service.


The presentation will be made at the Champaign Aviation Museum's annual gala Saturday, April 21, in Urbana.


The 2017 Aviation Trail Trailblazer Award was presented jointly to:

HQ Air Force Research Laboratory

and the

HQ Air Force Life Cycle Management Center

in honor the 100th anniversaries of McCook Field's Engineering Division and Wright-Patterson AFB Century of Aerospace Innovation.

This year the award was presented on December 16, at ATI's annual celebration of the 114th Anniversary of Powered Flight honoring the Wright brothers achievements' in 1903. The event was held at the Hope Hotel, WPAFB. For more photos from this event see the Event page on this website.

Lt. Gen. Robert McMurry, Commander AFLCMC

Maj. Gen. William Cooley, Commander AFRL


National Museum of the United States Air Force


The Air Force Museum Foundation


The trail's annual Trailblazer Awards Banquet and Ceremony honors the birthday of Wilbur Wright (April 16, 1867) and presents the Trailblazer Award to an individual or organization that has furthered aviation in the greater Miami Valley. Held annually since 1983.

1983 –  Thomas H. Davis, Founder and Retired CEO, Piedmont Airlines

1984 –  John C. Emery Jr. CEO, Emery Worldwide

1985 –  Ervin and Zoe Dell Nutter, Elano Corporation James R. Wood, Director of

              Aviation, City of Dayton

1986 -  McCauley Division, Cessna Aircraft Company

1987 –  275th Air Base Wing, Wright Patterson Air Force Base George J. Wedekind,

              U. S. Air and Trade Show

1988 –  Ivonette Wright Miller, Niece of Orville and Wilbur Wright Dr. J.H. Meyer,

              Surgeon and Aviation Pioneer

1989 –  Wright “B” Flyer Inc., builders of the replica flying Wright “B” Floyd G. Koller,

              World Leader, Fuel Valve Engineering

1990 -  Hartzell Propeller Inc., Pioneers in Aviation Propellers and The Hartzell

              Family of Hartzell Industries Inc., Piqua, Ohio

1991 –  John C. Dussault, Aviation Leader NCR Corporation, a Major Force in the

              Birthplace of Aviation

1992 –  Hans Joachim Pabst Von Ohain, Ph.D. Co-inventor of the Jet Engine Chief

              Scientist, Aerospace Research Laboratories, WPAFB, and Senior Research

              Engineer, University of Dayton

1993 –  Archives and Special Collections of the Paul Lawrence Dunbar Library,

              Wright State University, Repository of the Wright Artifacts

1994 –  The Hon. Tony P. Hall, U.S. House of Representatives, The Hon. David L.

              Hobson, U.S. House of Representatives

1995 –  The International Women’s Air and Space Museum, Preserver of the History

              of Women in Aviation

1996 –  Albert L. Nels, U.S. National and World Champion Balloonist

1997 –  Neal V. Loving, Aeronautical Engineer, Racing Pilot, Author

1998 -  Carillon Historical Park, World-class Museum which houses the the 1905 Wright

              Flyer III

1999 –  Waco Historical Society, Preserver and resorer of products of the WACO Aircraft


2000 -  G. Wilkinson “Wick” Wright, Enthusiastic supporter of Aviation organizations in

              the Miami Valley and Wright Family Spokesman

2001 -  Tom D. Crouch, Ph.D., Senior Curator Aeronautics, National Air and Space

              Museum, The Smithsonian Institution, Author, Teacher, and Supporter of the

              Miami Valley’s Aviation Heritage

2002 -  General Electric Aircraft Engines, Southwestern Ohio ptoducer of superior

              aircraft engines, their materials, fuels, and related technologies for 50-plus

              years and supporter of aviation in the greater Miami Valley

2003-   National Aviation Hall of Fame, a non profit organization that has enshrined to

              date 211 American and space pioneers whose contributions are interpreted in a

              Learning and Research Center

2004 -  Blair Conrad, Director, Dayton International Airport, whose mangagement skills,

              aviation knowledge and safety concerns making it a heavily traveled airport 

2005-   Howard R. DuFour, author of Charles E. Taylor, the Wright Brothers'

              Mechanician; originator of the 1903 Wright Flyer replica in the Wright State

              University Library; master machinist, model maker and honorary engineer who

              contributed to the Manhattan Project

2006 -  Nick Engler, founder of Wright Brothers Aeroplane Co., builder of reproductions

              of all Wright Brother's kites, gliders, and powered airplanes; kid focused via

              "rib workshops" for making the planes' parts; and extraordinary website on the

              Wright Brothers

2007 -  Dayton Aviation Heritage National Historical Park, during its 15-year

              presence in Dayton, this site has attracted national recognition. The park has

              been able to tell the aviation story through a number or partnerships in the


2008 -  Mary Ann Johnson, aviation historian and author who has supported

              aviation-related projects in the Dayton-Miami Valley area for over 25 years 

2009 -  Amanda Wright Lane, Wright Family Ambassador

2010 -  Air Force Research Laboratory - leader in aerospace research and one of the

              largest R and D units in the Air Force

2011 -  Steve Brown - architect and aviation enthusiast who has worked to make

              possible the parachute museum and is a key leader in aviation projects in the

              Miami Valley

2012 -  Wilbur Wright Birthplace and Museum - Millville, Indiana

2013 -  Colonel Roger E. McClure (RET) - recognized for his early work on The Wright

              Cycle Company and the Hoover Block buildings and his efforts on the Dave Gold

              parachute collection.

2014 - John Bosch - Chairman and CEO of Commander Aero Inc. (CAI) and an aviation                        professional for more than 55 years, Bosch received the award for his myriad


2015 - Sinclair Community College’s Aviation Technology Department is the recipient of                   Aviation Trail’s 2015 Trailblazer Award to be presented Wednesday, April 15, in                       Dayton. 

2016 - The National Museum of the United States Air Force and the Air Force Museum                       Foundation were the dual recipients of Aviation Trail's 2016 Trailblazer Award to be               presented Friday, April 15.


2017 - HQ Air Force Research Laboratory and the HQ Air Force Life Cycle Management                      Center were the recipients in honor the 100th anniversaries of McCook Field's                        Engineering Division and Wright-Patterson AFB Century of Aerospace Innovation.


2018 - The Champaign Aviation Museum, In honor of the late Jerry Shiffer, and his family

            who have generously nurtured the Champaign Museum in its mission to restore                    aircraft, educate the public, and honor veterans.

2019 - The recipients are Neil Armstrong (posthumously) for his first man on the moon achievement 50 years ago, and the Armstrong Air & Space Museum for memorializing Armstrong, the moon landing, and Ohio Aviation. 


Recipients and presenters of the 2016 Trailblazer Awards pose with their citations following the Aviation Trail luncheon April 15 at the Hope Hotel & Conference Center. From left to right they are: Paul Woodruff, ATI trustee and award presenter to the Air Force Museum Foundation; Frances Duntz, Foundation Chairman of the Board of Trustees; Lt. Gen. Jack Hudson (USAF Ret.) Director of the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force; and Col. Roger McClure (USAF Ret.), ATI trustee and award presenter to the Museum.


Sinclair Community College’s Aviation Technology Department was the recipient of Aviation Trail’s 2015 Trailblazer Award presented Wednesday, April 15, in Dayton. 


ATI 2014 Trailblazer Award Winner

John Bosch has been named ATI's 2014 Trailblazer. A dinner in his honor was held April 16th at the Presidential Banquet Center. 

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