Wyoming Aviation Hall of Fame
Wyoming Aviation Hall of Fame Information: The Wyoming Aviation Hall of Fame is a nonprofit, publicly supported, tax exempt organization dedicated to honoring individuals who have made outstanding contributions to the establishment, development, and/or advancement of aviation in Wyoming. The Hall of Fame was established in 1995 through efforts of R.R. "Red" Kelso, a veteran Wyoming pilot. The first four honorees were inducted in 1995. Since 1995, one nominee has been inducted annually.
The Aeronautics Commission selects the new inductee each year from the nominations submitted by the Wyoming Aviation Hall of Fame. The number of inductees is limited to enhance the honor of being selected.
The Wyoming Aviation Hall of Fame also collects aviation historical artifacts for display to educate the public on Wyoming's significant role in aviation's early days. The Hall of Fame centerpiece display case is currently located in the Cheyenne Airport Terminal building and houses a wide selection of early Wyoming aviation memorabilia. The Wyoming Aviation Hall of Fame also maintains an archive including pilot biographies, which is available for researchers.
The Wyoming Aviation Hall of Fame is dependent upon individual contributions to finance its operations.
Anyone wishing to submit a nomination may obtain an application package by contacting John Waggener, president of the Wyoming Aviation Hall of Fame. Tax exempt contributions may also be sent to the following address:
Wyoming Aviation Hall of Fame
Attn: John Waggener
1000 E. University Ave., Dept. 3924
Laramie, WY 82071
Glen G. Larson
2014 Inductee into the Wyoming Aviation Hall of Fame
Glen G. Larson, a decorated Vietnam War fighter pilot who continued to serve his nation in the Air Force and Air National Guard, and who went on to have a successful career in aviation as a test pilot and executive for McDonnell Douglas Corporation, is the 2014 inductee into the Wyoming Aviation Hall of Fame.
While majoring in mechanical engineering, with an aerospace option at the University of Wyoming, Larson earned his private pilot’s license at General Brees Field, and was active in the Air Force ROTC Detachment 940 on campus. Upon graduating from UW in 1970, Larson was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant in the Air Force, and received his flight training in numerous aircraft, including the McDonnell-Douglas F-4 Phantom.
In 1972, Larson was assigned to the 435th Tactical Fighter Squadron as part of the 8th Tactical Fighter Wing “Wolf Pack,” where he was an aircraft commander and Fast Forward Air Controller directing air strikes in North Vietnam. During the Vietnam War, he flew 221 missions, totaling 422 combat hours. A highly decorated pilot, he earned four Distinguished Flying Crosses, and 19 Air Medals during his combat service. He was later awarded the Legion of Merit for his service.
After his wartime service, Larson transitioned into the role of an F-4 instructor pilot from 1973 to 1975, before being selected as one of the early instructors of the new McDonnell Douglas F-15 Eagle at Luke AFB. In addition to flight instruction, Larson also was a squadron and wing scheduling officer, safety officer, and flight examiner before he left active duty to pursue a career in flight testing.
His experience with McDonnell Douglas fighter aircraft led him into a career in 1979 in St. Louis. As a production test pilot, he tested the airworthiness of aircraft before delivery. As an engineering test pilot, he tested aircraft systems. Larson then transitioned into the very demanding role of experimental test pilot. In this role, he conducted high-performance flight tests on the F-15, and was chief F-18 Hornet test pilot. Performance tests included high speed flight (near Mach 2), high altitude flight (near 50,000 feet), and structural limit tests that consisted of high-g-force flight (up to 9g), and aeroelastic testing (wing flutter.) He conducted other testing including weapon separation and air refueling. His knowledge of fighter aircraft characteristics led to his producing numerous published technical papers concerning attack angles, stalls, spins, and autorolls, dual engine restart procedures, wing fuel imbalance, fuel leaks, flying with conformal fuel tanks, and landing and rollout. In 1984, he was a finalist for the NASA Astronaut program.
Larson transitioned out of the cockpit and into senior management with the company in 1988, where he guided sales of the F-15, and managed the Peace Sun Program that involved the delivery of fighter aircraft to the Royal Saudi Air Force. As director of operations, Larson was concerned with managing contract negotiation, establishing aircraft maintenance programs, and evaluating profit-loss performance on annual revenues. In 1998, Larson retired from McDonnell Douglas when he accepted the position of director of engineering for Goodrich Aerospace. He then became vice president of Aircraft Systems, where he remained until 2001. He also worked with numerous other companies including Technical Ordnance and BAE Systems.
While in St. Louis, Larson served as a fighter pilot of the F-4 and F-15 with the Missouri Air National Guard from 1981 to 1998. After surpassing 5,000 flight hours, he retired from the USAF Reserves in 2000 while assigned to the Pentagon with the rank of colonel, ending a military career that spanned 30 years.
Born in Rawlins in 1947, Larson took his first flight with long-time Rawlins aviator John France in 1957. He later moved to Laramie, where his step-father became a football coach for the Wyoming Cowboys. Glen and his wife Donna, who were married in 1975, have two children, Amanda and Matthew. While remaining in St. Louis after retiring from McDonnell Douglas, Larson has maintained his close connection to Wyoming where, among other service, he served on the National Advisory Board of the UW College of Engineering.
The Wyoming Aviation Hall of Fame was established in 1994 through the efforts of the late Red Kelso of Cheyenne. Acting under the auspices of the Wyoming Aeronautics Commission, the Hall of Fame is dedicated to honoring Wyomingites who have made outstanding contributions to the establishment, development, and/or advancement of aeronautics. The number of inductees is limited to one per year to enhance the honor of being inducted into the Hall of Fame. For more information about the Wyoming Aviation Hall of Fame, contact John Waggener in Laramie at (307) 766-2563.