Mr. William “Bill” Dana, will be enshrined posthumously into the National Aviation Hall of Fame on September 28, 2018, at 6:00 p.m. at the National Building Museum in Washington, D.C. His wife, Mrs. Judi Dana, will accept the award in his honor.

“We are proud to honor Bill Dana in the Class of 2018 for the legacy he left in some of our most significant aeronautical programs,” said Michael Quiello, NAHF Chairman. “He was truly an aerospace pioneer who helped to usher in the space age.”

Mr. William Dana, following four years in the Air Force, was hired as an aeronautical research engineer at the NASA High-Speed Flight Station (now Armstrong Flight Research Center) on Oct. 1, 1958, the very same day that NASA was established. His first assignments included development of a rudimentary performance simulator for the X-15 rocket plane and stability and control research involving the F-107A fighter prototype.

In September 1959 he transferred to the Flight Operations Branch as a research pilot. Over the next three decades he conducted flight experiments in a wide variety of aircraft including the rocket powered X-15 and wingless lifting bodies. Dana flew to the edge of space in the X-15, attaining a maximum speed of Mach 5.53 (3,897 mph) and a maximum altitude of 306,900 feet (nearly 59 miles). He was then assigned to fly the HL-10, M2-F3, and X-24B lifting bodies to validate engineers’ assertions that such vehicles could be precisely controlled during approach and landing, and providing NASA with the confidence needed to proceed with designs for the Space Shuttle orbiter.

In addition, he flew hundreds of research flights in advanced jet fighters including the F-14, F-15, F-16, and YF-17. Dana performed a guest pilot evaluation of the X-29 forward-swept-wing technology demonstrator and flew the pioneering F-18 High Alpha Research Vehicle, the first aircraft to use multi-axis thrust vectoring for vehicle control. Because of his demonstrated leadership and extraordinary service in flight research, Dana was appointed chief pilot in 1986 with responsibility for recruiting, developing and training Armstrong’s cadre of research pilots. He was also assistant chief of the Flight Operations Division.

His numerous awards and honors include the AIAA Haley Space Flight Award (1976), NASA Exceptional Service Medal (1976), Lancaster Aerospace Walk of Honor (1993), NASA Distinguished Service Medal (1997) and the Milton O. Thompson Lifetime Achievement Award (2000). He was honored in the “Salute to Test Pilots” at the Experimental Aircraft Association’s Annual Convention in 1996. Dana was awarded astronaut wings on Aug. 23, 2005, for two of his X-15 flights that exceeded 50 miles altitude. That honor came nearly 40 years after the flights themselves because at the time of the X-15 program, NASA did not confer astronaut wings on its pilots. Dana was a distinguished member of the Society of Experimental Test Pilots, from which he received the Ray E. Tenhoff Award.

The NAHF Class of 2018 will also include: Colonel R. Walter Cunningham, USMC (Ret), Korean War veteran, fighter pilot and Apollo astronaut; General John R. Dailey, USMC (Ret), Vietnam veteran, fighter pilot, Marine Corps, NASA and NASM leader; and General Ronald R. Fogleman, USAF (Ret), Vietnam veteran, fighter pilot and Air Force Leader.

The NAHF’s Enshrinement Ceremony and Program will include industry leaders and over a dozen returning Enshrinees, including astronauts Eileen Collins and Hoot Gibson, Aerospace Leaders Charlie Bolden and Walter Boyne, Dick and Burt Rutan, general aviation titans Dale Klapmeier and Tom Poberezny, WWII triple-ace Bud Anderson and Tuskegee Airman Charles McGee, among others.

Sponsorships are currently available. Committed sponsors to date include Cirrus Aircraft, United Airlines, PerformAir International, Herb Kelleher, GE Aviation, Scotts Miracle-Gro, AAR Corporation, DuPont, Jet Linx, AIRBUS, Rolls-Royce, Williams International, NBAA, Northrup Grumman, Oliver Wyman, Southwest Airlines, Concordia Capital, GAMA, Tactical Air Support, UNITECH, and THEIA Systems.

The evening will begin with a reception at 6:00 p.m. with a dinner and program to follow at 7:00 p.m. The National Building Museum is located at 440 G St. NW in Washington, D.C. Sponsorship information is available at