The Aero Club of Washington was originally founded to promote the Wright Brothers and their efforts. Their initial achievement defined aviation, established excellence as a standard and placed America in a role of global preeminence. The Aero Club seeks to commemorate the Wright Brothers’ historic actions by awarding an annual Trophy for Aviation Excellence.
In 1999, after the tragic death of Admiral Don Engen, director of the National Air & Space Museum at the time, the Aero Club Board voted to present the Trophy to Don Engen posthumously. It was accepted in October 1999 by his widow, Mary Engen. The Board had also voted to name the Trophy after Don Engen, and at that same luncheon, the Trophy became the “Donald D. Engen Aero Club Trophy for Aviation Excellence.” The permanent Trophy resides in the National Air & Space Museum.
RECIPIENTS OF THE DONALD D. ENGEN
AERO CLUB TROPHY FOR AVIATION EXCELLENCE
1993 – Herb Kelleher, Southwest Airlines
1994 – Senator Wendell Ford, U.S. Senate
1995 – Edward W. Stimpson, GAMA
1996 – Joint FAA/JAA 777 Certification Team
1997 – James A. Wilding, MWAA
1998 – Robert Crandall, American Airlines
1999 – Donald D. Engen
2000 – Najeeb Halaby
2001 – L. Welch Pogue
2002 – Alan S. Boyd
2003 – Not Awarded
2004 – Don Lopez, NASM
2005 – STS-114 Discovery Shuttle Crew
2006 – Scott Crossfield
2007 – Langhorne Bond
2008 – Phil Boyer
2009 – William DeCota
2010 – Carl W. Vogt
2011 – Jane Garvey
2012 – National Aviation Hall of Fame
2013 – The Tuskegee Airmen
2014 – Charles “Chip” Barclay
2015 – Will Ris
2016 – Walter J. Boyne
The Aero Club is proud to award the
2016 Donald D. Engen Aero Club Trophy
Walter J. Boyne
Walter J. Boyne is a retired US Air Force officer, command pilot, combat veteran, aviation historian and prolific author of more than 50 books and over 1,000 magazine articles. He is a former director of the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum and a former Chairman of the National Aeronautic Association.
He has dedicated six decades of his life to the growth, development, advancement, education, and understanding of aviation to people in the United States of America and around the world. As a renowned author, historian, pilot, and leader, his impact has been felt by millions of people.