(DENVER) The NAHF “Spirit of Flight” Award is presented each year to a group or an organisation for their outstanding achievements or contributions to aviation. It was copyrighted and authorised by the Board of Trustees in 1981. It was renamed in honour of Milton Caniff in 1988. In 2000, acclaimed artist Roy Grinnell created the NAHF “Spirit of Flight” artwork, shown below. The original and limited edition prints were commissioned through the generosity of NAHF Lifetime Patron, Stewart McMillan, in memory of his father, Clyde H. McMillan.
Martin-Baker Aircraft Company Limited employs over 1000 people worldwide, with approximately 180 at Martin-Baker America headquartered in Johnston, Pennsylvania. MB America is responsible for the manufacture and assembly of escape systems and crashworthy seats for the US Air Force, Navy, Marine Corps and Army. MB America has over 5,000 seats in aircraft at 52 bases across 42 states. The Mk16 ejection seat is fitted in the T-38 and T-6 training aircraft, and the F-35. The entire fleet of US Navy aircraft with ejection seats have the MBA Naval Aircrew Ejection Seat (NACES). Over 2,500 American Airmen were saved during Vietnam using MBA ejection seats, and since that time another 1,000 Americans have ejected in a variety of aircraft and have been safely returned to their families.
For indisputably setting the standard for ejection and crashworthy seats, providing pilots worldwide a primary added layer of safety, and having saved over 7,600 people around the world the National Aviation Hall of Fame is proud to present Martin-Baker Aircraft Company with the 2019 Spirit of Flight Award. John Martin, the Joint Managing Director at Martin-Baker traveled out to receive the award at the 2019 Enshrinement in Denver, Colorado.
“I would just like to say thank you to the committee for awarding us such a prestigious award. It would have made my father (Sir James Martin) so proud and I feel as he looks down now at his legacy it is something that would put a huge smile on his face,” said Martin-Baker’s John Martin. “There’s nothing my father loved better than saving peoples lives. After he lost his great friend and partner Captain Valentine Baker to an aircraft accident, he dedicated his whole life to lifesaving equipment. I would also like to thank Greg Ulmer for presenting the award, Lockheed Martin are such a fantastic company so thank you so much Greg.”