WAC Trophy

Wichita Aero Club Trophy

The Wichita Aero Club seeks nominations for its annual Wichita Aero Club Trophy each year between July and October. The club presents the trophy to an individual, group, or organization with ties to the local aviation community whose exemplary achievements and contributions in the field of aviation or aerospace deserve special recognition. The trophy is awarded at a recognition gala usually scheduled for the last week in January.

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Submit a Nomination by October 1, 2018

We’ve taken the nomination process online! Please complete this online form to submit your nomination. All submissions are due by October 1, 2018.

Members of the aviation community and the general public are encouraged to follow the simple criteria for nominating potential recipients by October 1. We will announce the winner at the National Business Aviation Association Annual Meeting & Convention once all of the nominees have been reviewed by the Selection Committee.

The Committee, which is chaired by Ashley Bowen-Cook of the Greteman Group, includes members of the Wichita Aero Club Board of Directors and prominent members of the aviation community, who will evaluate all of the nominations, including those previously submitted if they still conform to the criteria. The WAC wants to continue to build upon the tradition we began in 2009 by selecting a deserving candidate with solid ties to the Wichita and Kansas aviation community.

Acknowledging Legacy: A Look Back

The Wichita Aero Club Trophy has been created to recognize both contemporaneous accomplishment or a lifetime of achievement. The first WAC Trophy went to someone who has been associated with Wichita’s aviation history since its early days, Mrs. Velma Wallace. Of course, that doesn’t mean that nominees can’t come from the ranks of individuals, groups, or organizations whose recognition is based on a recent milestone or singular event. The second trophy was presented to Jeff Turner and Spirit AeroSystems for their outstanding performance during difficult economic times. The 2013 trophy was presented to John O’Leary and Airbus Americas Engineering and the 2014 trophy was presented to Russ Meyer, Chairman Emeritus of Cessna Aircraft Company. There are always significant achievements during the course of a year that certainly warrant consideration.

Past Recipients At a Glance

  • 2018: Lynn Nichols and Yingling Aviation
  • 2017: Paul Bowen, World Renowned Aviation Photographer
  • 2016: Doc’s Friends, B-29 Superfortress Restoration Project
  • 2015: Al Higdon, Co-Founder of Sullivan Higdon & Sink Advertising
  • 2014: Russ Meyer, Chairman Emeritus of Cessna Aircraft Company
  • 2013: John O’Leary, Vice President of Engineering for Airbus Americas Engineering
  • 2012: Jeff Turner, CEO Spirit AeroSystems and Spirit AeroSystems
  • 2011: Mrs. Velma L. Wallace, Cessna Aircraft Company and philanthropist

Nominees for the Trophy

The Wichita Aero Club Trophy will be awarded annually to a living person, group, or organization with a strong relationship to the greater Wichita area. The nominee(s) will be considered on the basis of exemplary achievements in the field of aviation or aerospace accomplished during the past year or, as appropriate, over an extended period or career.

About the Trophy

For the Wichita Aero Club Trophy, sculpture and creator Chris Brunner chose elements that represented the eyes-turned-skyward spirit of aviation. A translucent blue pyramid containing the Aero Club Logo harkens to the ancient form through which man strived to reach the heavens. Its delta shape is also representative of the modern form of advanced flight. The translucent aspect of the trophy represents the atmosphere, with contrails wrapping upward from the base. The trophy’s pedestal of stainless steel framework gives recognition to Wichita’s aircraft manufacturing legacy.

This beautiful achievement trophy permanently, prominently, and proudly resides on the mezzanine at Eisenhower International Airport.

Nomination Details

  • The name, affiliation (if applicable), address, telephone number and e-mail address of the person making the nomination is required information on the form. The identity of nominators will remain proprietary.
  • A citation (40 words or less) which captures the essence of the achievement for which the nomination is being submitted is required.
  • Electronic submission must be prepared in a Microsoft Word or compatible format which can be opened electronically. Hard copies, submitted by mail may be sent as “backup” versions only after confirmed receipt of electronic versions.
  • Nominations can be submitted online here. The Wichita Aero Club Trophy Selection Committee will review the nominations and select a winner. The Trophy will be presented at the WAC Trophy Ball in January.
  • All nomination materials will become property of the WAC.

View our Awardees!