Walter H. Beech

Walter H. Beech

(1891-1950) Enshrined November 12, 2005

An aviation pioneer, Walter Beech was born in Pulaski, Tennessee. He began his legendary career in aviation by building a glider age 14. Walter Beech became a U.S. Army Aviator in 1917 and later joined the Swallow Airplane Company where he became a test pilot and later, General Manager. Walter Beech, Clyde Cessna and Lloyd Stearman (all of whom became aviation legends) co-founded the Travel Air Aircraft Company in 1924. The company became the world’s largest producer of monoplane and biplane commercial aircraft and earned international acclaim by establishing numerous performance records. Travel Air Aircraft subsequently merged with the Curtiss-Wright Aircraft Company and Walter Beech became its President. In 1932, Walter and his wife Olive Ann founded Beech Aircraft Corporation. Beech airplanes set numerous speed and distance records and the famous Beech Staggerwing won the prestigious Bendix Air Race. During World War II, Beech Aircraft turned its entire production to defense, producing more than 7,400 military aircraft. The Twin-Beech AT-71C-45 was used to train most of the U.S. Army Air Force navigator/bombardier’s and over half of the multi-engine pilots. Now a part of the Raytheon Corporation, Beech Aircraft became and remains a world-renowned corporate and personal aircraft manufacturer. The extraordinary history of Beech Airplanes is preserved and on display in Tullahoma, Tennessee at the Staggerwing Museum Foundation located on the Parish Aerodrome. Walter Beech was enshrined in the National Aviation Hall of Fame in 1977.

To learn more, visit: www.tnairmuseum.com

Larry D. Cox, AAE

Larry D. Cox, AAE

Enshrined November 12, 2005

President & CEO of the Memphis-Shelby County Airport Authority for 32-years, Larry Cox has led the Memphis International Airport to prominence around the globe. For more than 10 years, Memphis International has been the leading air cargo airport in the entire world. 3.55 million metric tons of air cargo were handled at MEM in 2004. A native Tennessean, Cox was born in Nashville. He earned a BBA in Economics from the University of Memphis where he graduated Cum Laude and as a Distinguished Military graduate of Air Force ROTC. After an honorable discharge as an Air Force Captain, he went on to earn an MBA in Management from the University of Memphis.

Widely respected among airport management professionals world wide, Larry Cox has received numerous honors. They include: “1994 Airport Manager of the Year” from the Federal Aviation Administration’s Southern Region, The FAA “Kitty Hawk” Award, the Distinguished Service Award from the American Association of Airport Executives, “The Chairs Award” from AAAE, FedEx Corporation’s “Bravo Zulu Award” and the Tennessee Aeronautics Commission’s highest individual honor for Career Contributions To Aviation.

Larry Cox has served for many years as President of the Tennessee Association of Air Carrier Airports and is a co-founder and Charter Member of the Tennessee Aviation Association.

To learn more, visit: www.tnairmuseum.com

Astronaut Margaret Rhea Seddon, M.D.

Astronaut Margaret Rhea Seddon, M.D.

 Enshrined November 12, 2005

Born in Murfreesboro, Rhea Seddon became a NASA Astronaut in 1979. A three-flight veteran with more than 722 hours in space Dr. Seddon was a mission specialist on STS-51D in 1985 and STS-40 in 1991. She was the Payload Commander on STS-58 in 1993. In September 1996 she was detailed by NASA to Vanderbilt University Medical School in Nashville where she assisted in the preparation of cardiovascular experiments which flew aboard Space Shuttle Columbia on the Neurolab Spacelab flight in April 1998. Born in Murfreesboro, Margaret Rhea Seddon graduated from Central High School in 1965. She received a BA in Physiology from the University of California, Berkley in 1970 and a Doctorate of Medicine from the University of Tennessee College of Medicine in 1973. Dr. Seddon completed her surgical internship and 3-years of general surgery residency in Memphis. Dr. Seddon is married to former Astronaut Robert L. “Hoot” Gibson and is now the Assistant Chief Medical Officer of the Vanderbilt Medical Group in Nashville.

To learn more, visit: www.tnairmuseum.com

Robert B. McNab and James A. Wolfe

Robert B. McNab and James A. Wolfe

 (1948-1999) Enshrined November 12, 2005

The names of Bob McNab and Jim Wolfe are inseparable in the helicopter industry just as their extraordinary partnership, accomplishments and contributions to the world of helicopters are irrevocably linked. McNab and Wolfe co-founded Edwards & Associates in Piney Flats, Tennessee in 1977 to market helicopters. Their shared imaginative vision, entrepreneurial spirit, bold leadership and strict commitment to quality made Bob McNab and Jim Wolfe world leaders in the helicopter industry. Edwards & Associates and its wholly owned subsidiaries, Aeronautical Accessories, Inc., Aeronautical Plastics, Inc. and Rotor Blades, Inc. became global leaders in the manufacture and sales of over 800 helicopter products. The Aeronautical Accessories, Inc. products line included 244 foreign approvals or FAA Supplemental Type Certificates. The quality, and optical clarity of Aeronautical Plastics, Inc. products resulted in their installation as original equipment by several manufacturers. In 1996, Robert B. McNab and James A. Wolfe were awarded the coveted Helicopter Association International, Lawrence D. Bell Memorial Award, established in 1971 to salute excellence in management leadership and for long and significant service to the civil helicopter industry. Mr. Wolfe, who passed away in August 1999, served as an Army Helicopter Pilot during the Vietnam War and was twice awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross and several commendation medals with Valor, including the Bronze Star. Edwards & Associates and its subsidiaries were premier suppliers to Bell Helicopter Textron of Ft. Worth, TX for 20 years. In 1999, Bell Helicopter acquired the companies but they continue to be located in Northeastern Tennessee.

To learn more, visit: www.tnairmuseum.com