A crowd of more than 400 aerospace scientists, engineers, program managers, CEOs, members of Congress and aspiring pilots and engineers gathered at the historic National Building Museum in Washington on March 3 for Aviation Week’s 59th annual Laureate Awards. Continuing a tradition that began in 1957 to laud great achievements in aerospace, defense and civil aviation, Aviation Week editors saluted two dozen finalists and then announced a winner in each of six categories: commercial aviation, defense, space, innovation, technology and business aviation. The black-tie gala also included the Philip J. Klass Lifetime Achievement Award—named in honor of Aviation Week’s legendary avionics editor-—a heroism award, and recognition of outstanding young achievers who are pursuing aerospace careers.

This year’s dinner event was also a celebration of Aviation Week’s 100th anniversary, and on hand to help mark the special occasion were former editors-in-chief David M. North and Anthony L. Velocci, Jr., and former publisher Kenneth E. Gazzola. The gala ended on an emotional note as the heroism honor was presented to U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Greggory Swarz for rescuing three French airmen he pulled out of a fire that erupted after an F-16 crash.


Senior Aviation Week editors review dozens of internal and external Laureate nominations each year before selecting finalists and winners. 


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This story is a selection from the March 21, 2016 issue of Aviation Week & Space Technology. New content posted daily online.

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