National Aviation Hall of Fame inducts former Cessna chairman


Dwane Wallace (left) with Clyde Cessna (right) in 1936.

Dwane L. Wallace receives recognition from the National Aviation Hall of Fame along with three aviation pioneers.
Dwane Wallace (left) with Clyde Cessna (right) in 1936.

Dwane Wallace (left) with his uncle Clyde Cessna (right) standing infront of a prototype of the Cessna 170 in 1936.

The late Dwane L. Wallace, former CEO and chairman of the Cessna Aircraft Company, was inducted into the National Aviation Hall of Fame, alongside three of aviation’s early pioneers at a ceremony held in Dayton, Ohio.

Wallace passed away in 1989 at the age of 78. The nephew of Clyde Cessna, Wallace joined the family business in 1934 as general manager and guided it for more than 40 years, serving as president, chairman, board member and consultant. Along with his brother Dwight, Wallace is credited for re-opening Cessna in 1934 – following a two year-closure triggered by the Great Depression – and steering it to success.

He also founded the General Aviation Manufacturers Association, which continues to be a major force within the industry, and served as its first chairman.

Scott Ernest, the current president and CEO of Cessna Aircraft Company, said: “Cessna is proud today to join the aviation community in celebrating the enshrinement of Dwane Wallace into the National Aviation Hall of Fame. Known as ‘Mr. Aviation,’ Wallace’s visionary leadership brought Cessna into the modern age through the aggressive expansion of the company’s product line, including the introduction of the world’s most successful line of business jets – the Cessna Citation.”

Ernest added: “Wallace’s legacy is secure as the man who built general aviation around the world and positioned Cessna at the forefront of innovation in the early years of the industry. Wallace was the personal embodiment of the bold spirit that led him to say of Cessna: ‘We have what it takes to lead the way.’ Thanks to his legacy, 8,000 proud Cessnans are still leading the way in general aviation. We commend the National Aviation Hall of Fame for bestowing this honour on a most deserving honouree.”

Wallace was honoured alongside the late C. Alfred “Chief” Anderson, often referred to as “the father of African-American aviation;” retired Army Major General Patrick H. Brady, who received the prestigious Medal of Honour; and retired Navy Captain Robert L. “Hoot” Gibson, a test-pilot and NASA astronaut.